Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is home to the flourishing Coat Of Arms, a progressive groove band with original nu-metal undertones. Following the noteworthy release “This Is Manslaughter” in 2011, Coat Of Arms takes a colossal step forward with “Sun and Satellites”, which was mixed/mastered/produced by Diego Farias (Volumes).

Coat Of Arms sophomore album “Sun and Satellites” is a dreamlike release; exhibiting a strikingly refined sound. Brought upon is a sparkling elation that develops at first sound and remains long after “Sun and Satellites” conclusion. The album glows with positive passion, but ‘brighter’ should not imply ‘lighter,’ there is undeniable power here.

Coat of Arms’ Rayan Bailouni serves as the band’s front man, playing guitar while performing lead vocals.( As if the vocals on “Sun and Satellites” weren’t impressive enough already) The vocal style of Bailouni is a large contributor to C.O.A.’s distinctive sound. Intelligently rotating between growls and singing; the vocals are a stimulating aspect to the surrounding music. Coat Of Arms’ unique sound can be directly credited to the trio of guitars, bass included, whose writing does not bridge between genres and influences, but rather concocts a completely new formula off riffs.“Notes & Chords” opens the album with a riff that has initial djent influence, found in the guitar tone and groove pattern, but a second facet became apparent to me…call me crazy but I hear similarities to In Flames, more specifically, the A Sense of Purpose album. This becomes more apparent in the following track “Black Holes,” where a gathering of smooth riffs and grooves mesh under an infectious chorus.

The fourth track “Pessimist” fits that power-hitter slot of “Suns and Satellites” oh so well. Another addicting chorus lays on the front and back end of a killer breakdown. Coat Of Arms sure has their way with melody and appeal. “Composure To Remain” is a heavy track loaded with pounding riffs the evolves into a heavier Killswitch Engage-esque power riff, then transitioning into melody and ambience. The lovely lead guitar that closes “Composure to Remain” trickles into the ever beautiful “Pixels.” The lyrics here cause “Pixels” to resonate deep within me. “River Weser” and “Skies Craved” is a duo of commanding tunes that amplify the value of Suns and Satellites with the additional energy these tracks generate. The album is then ushered into silence by “BrundleFly,” a groove-ballad with exceptional atmospheric comfort. 

The attraction of “Sun and Satellites” starts with my soft spot for the djent groove, but is exponentially expanded on by the familiarity found to music that I originally began my ‘metal journey’ with such as Killswitch Engage and Slipknot. This mash up is executed with flawless overlap to the point that the specifics are so hard to isolate, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter anyways. The relevance is the quality of music. And Coat Of Arms shows off high quality and fresh metal on “Sun and Satellites”. – Tyler Dermitt


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