Artwork_1400x14000Danish five-piece Cold Night for Alligators are described by their press kit as “progressive death metal with brutal technical hardcore, layered with tremendous atmospheric ambient sounds.” Doesn’t that sound great? I salivated at my luck, dreaming of this great new band that sounds like CynicGaza and Hope Drone. Well, it’s funny how promo materials work, because when promo guy was talking about progressive death metal, he was talking about Periphery. Oh, and when he went on about ‘technical hardcore,’ that was in reference to the technical hardcore of one Maryland – based band called Periphery. But the ambient sounds? Straight outta Brisbane, baby! Hah, no it’s Periphery.

Admittedly, that’s an unfairly one-dimensional portrait of Cold Night for Alligators, which could also be described in reference to TexturesTharsis They, and Outrun the Sunlight, but it’s pretty clear that the end product isn’t quite the prog-death of the average metalhead’s fantasies; it’s Mansoor-approved djent. If the band wanted to distance themselves from their bulbous roots, they should have branched out a bit more; it doesn’t help the comparison that the majority of their riffs are weirdly-timed chugs, or that their singer is a slightly more betesticled Spencer Sotelo.

That being said, after a few spins, Course of Events has started to grow on me. Though as dependent on genre tropes (the riffing, the guitar tone) as any other djent band, Cold Night for Alligators have a knack for melody, and there are quite a few songs with strong and memorable melodies. “Followers” establishes their strengths early on, and later on “Retrogress” spits out another winner. Yet there are also some real duds, like closer “Brothers,” which errs too far on the sappy ballad side of things. On occasion, the band will go full on tech-metal, but their riffing here is lackluster; good tech riffs need to be more than 16th note runs and offbeat chugs, and few bands that aren’t The Dillinger Escape Plan can sustain this riffing successfully. Despite these missteps, the band keeps up a good pace through the album and makes a great effort in keeping the songs distinct.

Bandphoto

Like many young bands, and plenty of prog bands, Cold Night for Alligators have yet to hone their songwriting craft. While Course of Events doesn’t suffer much from objectionable song length, the band seem loathe to throw out any music they’ve written, which makes for a lot of obtuse instrumental tidbits that don’t really go anywhere. “Querencia” suffers from this especially, with its Dream Theater-esque noodling damaging the later impact of its middle section, which unfolds in an effective crescendo. The following “Daydream” is only around three minutes long, yet goes through about eight riffs of varying quality; the band can’t really commit to any of them, and though one or two see light in more than one part of the song, they’re not really memorable enough to be rewarding upon their return, in part because it was never clear among the crowd of ideas in the beginning of the song what would be important.

As a progressive death metal album, this fails on every level, seeing as it isn’t death metal of any kind. But from djent/prog perspective, it’s not half bad. Overall, it’s listenable and maybe worth a few spins, but it sticks too close to genre norms to really make an impact. If you like djent, you’ll probably really enjoy this album, but I don’t, and (paraphrasing AMG‘s outlook on black metal) it’s weird to me that a genre so full of gear nerds and prog fans produces so much music that sounds exactly the same. Where’s all of the experimentation and creativity opened up by a massive pedalboard budget and intense studio production? Why does adding around half an octave of range to your guitar make riffs consist of fewer notes? Course of Events does nothing to address my issues with the genre, but at least it dodges them with style, and that’s good enough for a passing grade.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR:
 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Prime Collective
Webistes:
facebook.com/coldnightforalligators | coldnightforalligators.bandcamp.com
Releases Worldwide:
 January 11th, 2016

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  • Diego Molero

    Man that first paragraph is gold! I really dont like djent bit great review Kronos

  • I’ve actually been noticing that quite a lot lately. Because “djent” is djoining the list of genres that get used as pejoratives, djent bands have started calling themselves “technical death metal” or “technical hardcore.”

    • AndySynn

      Oh, that’s been going on for a LONG time… “Progressive Groove Metal” was the go-to moniker for quite a while.

      • Kronos

        Says the guy whose album of the year was, ahem “Progressive Death Metal”

        • AndySynn

          It was indeed, thank you for noticing!

    • Icki

      pedjoratives*, surely?

  • Hilarious review!!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    It’s a shame that such a marvelous name would be wasted on this, instead of something… Well, what the promo described this band as for one.

    One time through this one song, Daydream, and I just don’t know what I think of it.
    Probably not going to revisit this band before they release something new. (With that name they have to release something great one day)

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I don´t know… that name seems only fit for a 2000-2009 Metalcore band. You know, that period and those bands that made you think all the good names were taken.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        I just think of the song.

  • De2013

    Love that cover photo!

    • Fazy

      And so does their Facebook and Bandcamp.

    • sir_c

      oh didn’t you know Copenhagen actually is the capital of The Netherlands?

    • Fixed.

      • Just nitpicking: It’s fixed in the review, but the text on the homepage still starts with “Dutch”.

    • Kronos

      What was I doing? Thanks.

  • One More Thing

    That was the most disjointed shit that I’ve heard in awhile. Kronos must be feeling merciful because I can’t see how this scored a 3. If bonus points were given for the cover art then I’d understand, because that part I do like.

  • Thatguy

    There is a lot of ‘more of the same’ in every genre of music, and the embedded track takes that to the extreme. These are very capable players of course, but unless you love djent – and even its mother doesn’t love it – this is a 2.5 at best.

    • Everybody’s a critic!

      • Thatguy

        It’s what we do. This is so much not to my taste that I was being kind in my comment.

    • I’m with you. I’d’ve given it a 2.5 if I’d written the text that Kronos
      produced.

    • Kronos

      I was really wavering, but it’s my first review of the year and I did actually enjoy some of this.

      • 2.5 doesn’t mean you didn’t like it!

        • Kronos

          For whatever reason I thought a 3 was appropriate .

          • Whatever, ratings are arbitrary and capricious anyway.

          • Kronos

            I was wondering which one of us was going to pull that first.

        • You wot m8?

          I wish I could upvote this comment a few hundred times, because it’s this very thought that separates this site from its far more plebian counterparts.

      • Thatguy

        You are a good man.

      • 5 demerits for House Kronos!

  • brutal_sushi

    As a fan of the Djenre, this is supremely boring. Periphery has a charm about them that make me smirk when listening. The only band in the Djent universe that need more appreciation is Uneven Structure. “Februus” is spectacular and their follow up “La Partion” is shaping up to be a massive album.

    • MelbCro

      Periphery had charm when they were releasing their demos back in the day with Chris Barretto on vocals. But every studio album they’ve released has been shithouse. Agree with you on Uneven Structure though, awesome band.

  • William Hebblewhite

    When will the Djent end?

    • Reese Burns

      Hopefully never, seeing as there is a large amount of people who do actually enjoy it, even if we don’t.

      • William Hebblewhite

        You sir are commendable for your lack of snobbery!

        • Reese Burns

          Eh, I try

  • Wilhelm

    God I hate this shit with a passion.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Djust say “no” to Djent.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    nice, they even got some melodic in it

    and, by the way, it’s very mathcore-influenced music

  • manimal

    Sure, there might be other market forces at work here, but I’ve found that it negatively affects the resale value of my alligators to leave them out in the cold.

  • Worldeater

    The last paragraph of your review is a fitting synopsis of the current stagnation of the genre as a whole! Aptly put!

  • Reese Burns

    The “slightly more betesticled Spencer Sotelo” part killed me, but unfortunately, the only good thing I can say about the band is that a review of their music made me laugh.