ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Coridian - 2023 - “Hava"

(54:42; Coridian)


2023 promises to bring NZ Rock fans a whole series of delights, and one of the most eagerly awaited albums is finally here in Coridian’s debut, ‘Hava’ (Hindi for Air), which is the fourth and final chapter in their Elements concept, following on from the 2015 EP ‘Oceanic’ (Water), 2017’s EP ‘Caldera’ (Earth) and the 2020 EP ‘Eldur’ (Fire). I first saw Coridian play some three years ago when I undertook my first ever assignment for, the biggest and oldest music site in New Zealand where Kiwis write about Kiwis for Kiwis. I had asked for the gig as one of the support acts was the wonderful Outside In, but I knew nothing about the headline, and to say that night was an eye opener is something of an understatement. I have no idea many words I have written on these guys since then, as I have attended as many gigs as possible while also covering some of their other releases (this album contains five singles which have been released over the last few years), and can often be found proudly wearing a Coridian t-shirt. Yes I am a fan, so here goes for a totally objective review of the debut (or not, as the case may be). There are two distinctly different but important halves of this band, and it is the coming together of these halves which makes for the spectacular band we all know down here. Firstly, there is the half which is the Raven brothers, Kris (drums, percussion), Mike (guitar, keyboards) and Nick (bass): when musicians literally grow up together playing music there is a tightness which is impossible to replicate. The second half is Dity Maharaj who not only has one of the clearest and incredible voices one is ever likely to hear, from any band anywhere in the world, but he brings in his Indian heritage and onstage is a ball of energy who can often be found spending nearly as much time in the air as he is on the actual stage, always hitting those notes with ease. Put these two halves together and you have Coridian, a post rock progressive hard rocking band who create atmosphere with ease and use a combination of subtlety and sledgehammers to create something very special indeed. This album has been a very long time coming indeed, as not only were there the Covid lockdowns but members of the band suffered with it at different times which impacted on the recording schedule with Zorran Mendosa who has continued his long association with the band. Together with Zorran the band have produced an album which is packed full of soundscapes, multi-layered guitars with some keyboards which are on a different level to the punching bass and drums, while Dity’s vocals are often kept clearer to let them stand out. There are so many highlights on the album that it is hard to know what to pick out, but I can’t let “Rakshasha” pass by without calling it out yet again. This dynamic powering number was my #1 single for 2022, is something which still keeps me coming back. The first part of the verse is almost gentle, then it builds in the second allowing the singers to really shine. Yes, singers, as Michael Murphy from Written By Wolves is working here with his old mates, showing a very different vocal style to Dity as they complement each other when Mikey starts screaming and Dity keeps it clean. There are other singles on here I have also given top marks to, such as “State of Mind”, where the phased guitar introduction soon becomes heavier, yet always with polish and restraint, ensuring there is plenty of room for Dity to shine. When I saw them play for the first time there was a song performed as an encore which I could not believe, and this is also included, a very different take to the original of “Wicked Game”. It starts nice and delicately, and one imagines it is going to stay like this, in much the same manner as the original, but gradually Kris ups the drum patterns, Nick starts throwing in extra notes, while Mike bides his time, and when the guitars crunch Dity goes high and everything changes. This is no studio trickery, I have heard them perform this song multiple times now, and the arrangement gets more intense throughout, with Kris providing cut through to the guitars and Dity hits those notes with ease every single time. Coridian have finally brought us the album we have all been waiting for, and it delivers in every way possible. That it will easily be in my top ten when I come to produce my lists at the end of the year is not in doubt, and for now it is #1. If you are a rock fan and live in Aotearoa, then you know how good this is – if you have yet to discover this great band then now is the time to do so.

Progtector: March 2023

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