review published: 4/16/2015
Ella Kaye are an Arizona based metalcore band. While technically the band's second EP, Comas Collide appears to be more of a reboot for the group. After losing the majority of its members, vocalist Justin Chard enlisted the help of a group of collaborators, including members of From First To Last, blessthefall, Volumes, and Betraying The Martyrs, to write and record a new album.
Because of this, Comas Collide comes off as very diverse, if not inconsistent at times. Opener "Elysium Configuration" kicks off with a breakdown before settling into its verse-chorus arrangement. The heavier section sounds like a toned down Arkangel while the chorus offers a melodic hook.
Things quickly take a turn with "Lament Configuration" and "Suicide Blondes," with the former being the most technical of the group. Drawing from the djent-ier side of the spectrum, the second track features a heavier, less melodic approach. While the spoken word verse leaves a bit to be desired, the chorus is centered around a fun bouncy Meshuggah-esque riff. The last forty five seconds of the song include a great blistering guitar solo. "Suicide Blondes" opens with a groovy riff and offers up the catchiest chorus of the EP. There are plenty of breakdowns if that is your thing.
One issue here is that Ella Kaye seems hung up on these glitchy programmed sounds that are most prominent on "Suicide Blondes." They come off as completely unnecessary and border on annoying nu-metal DJ scratches.
The second half of the record features prominent guest vocals that offer a shift in the overall feel. "Manere Aurum" has nice, cleanly sung female vocals which matches the atmosphere of the effect laden guitar lead. This is probably the strongest song on the EP; it may or may not be a coincidence that it's also the most melodic.
"Horrorscopes" is based around the deeper sounding screams of a different guest vocalist. The vocals are appropariate, as the song is on the heavier side and the only track on the EP to not feature a particularly catchy hook. The guitar playing here is again very impressive. A sweeping guitar lead gives way to one final half time breakdown to close things out.
Chard pulled together a skilled group of people for this record. The overall performance of the players is above average and while sometimes a bit generic sounding, the songs are well-crafted. Everything is nice and clean sounding without coming off as overly processed.
Bottom Line: Fans of any style of metalcore will find something to enjoy here. Whether it is the more technical or the more melodic, Ella Kaye offers something for everyone. Nothing new has been particularly brought to the table and you can't help but wonder where the band goes once all their guests move on, but it's a decent jumping off point.
Track Listing: 01. Elysium Configuration 02. Lament Configuration 03. Suicide Blondes 04. Manere Aurum 05. Horrorscopes