It's sad to witness the frequency with which great bands are splitting up in recent times. One of the more striking instances for me personally was May's announcement that the July/August UK tour from Essex rockers Fei Comodo would be their last tour and shows that they would do as a band. It's especially sad when considering their career has been spent only with the releases of EPs and it's this time now that has led up to the release of their debut full length Behind the Bright Lights. Basically, this album represents the moment the post-hardcore quintet had been waiting years for, so it feels like a massive loss for them to split now and one cannot help but think the vast amount of time in which record labels were not taking any action with releasing album's has played some cause in this. And so with this album being their big break and their final bow, the band make it their most triumphant works ever.
Straight from the opening The Night Falls we find the band are on a no holds barred rampage launching listeners straight into a hefty dose of their characteristic display of metalcore pounding that gleams with such beauty and intensity that you'd be able to see your face in any riff. If riffs were visible.
Indeed in terms of Fei Comodo and their continuous stream of EPs, they have built of quite a characteristic sound but with this being their final work, they have pretty much no choice but to unleash it with full force. And it's thankful that they do because the result is a display of modern metalcore that blows all it's fellow contemporaries out of the water. With an instant spike of urgency, tracks like No Way Out and A Man Left Behind offer a high level of energetic beatdowns that tear through displaying their rapid punk influence with great ease, while offering opportunities for much brutal moshing.
More gripping are the moments of the album fueled by pure spite mainly because of the sheer extent of the total clarity with which the music comes which really makes the messages of You Peaked at Sixteen really stand out, particularly as frontman Marc Halls calls out "If you don't like my honesty, you'd better change your ways, because I've been going easy.", truly a line resembling there is a lyrical world for Fei Comodo beyond the emotionally-drenched world of concern, making tracks like this and Walk With Me so much more thrilling.
However, Fei Comodo's main skill is the ability to produce sounds of metalcore's typically mindless brutality with a velvet coating that brings more mindfulness, grace and an awe-inspiring emotional impact into what they do. The amount of intricate skill and melodic crafting put into The Air is Cold Tonight makes it a highly immersive and pathos evoking listen as the band ride on riffs of victorious solidity, while the acoustic led On the Road is every bit as massive sounding as any other track and provokes just as big a response. However, the triumphant passion that highlights the very best of their sound that fans have come to recognise effortlessly that closes the album on Barriers serves as an emotionally crushing and beautiful manner on which to conclude the album and on which to conclude the band.
I've talked before about the idea of an album being so good that you hope the band doesn't record anything afterwards in case it doesn't become as good and ruins everything but it's definitely a massive shame that we'll never find out what else Fei Comodo are capable of creating. But this is definitely an album of such aforementioned quality with the most solid songs that they've ever crafted on board. I'm confident that new band Hey Vanity featuring various ex members of Fei Comodo will be able to craft something as great as their previous group but the loss of the band is definitely a big one in the world of up and coming British rock music. But with Behind the Bright Lights a long lasting impact has definitely been made. Fei Comodo are dead. Long live Fei Comodo.
Fei Comodo's Behind the Bright Lights is out now via Small Town Records. The band will tour the UK for the rest of July and will play their last ever show at Stereo, York on 1st August with Evarose, I Divide and You Cried Wolf.