Upon receiving the request for the review of their newly released album Companion, I checked out the music video for the San Francisco Bay Area natives, Eidola. I’m not really the kind of person that is into Hardcore as a genre necessarily, but upon watching the video for “Landlocked,” my interest peaked. According to the band themselves:
After years of going to shows together, and creating music in different groups/projects, the five friends in Eidola started writing music; not to fit into a genre, not to “make it” in the scene, but to have a fun, make music that matters to each of the members, and participate in a community that has helped shaped who they are.
The 8-track album begins with the introductory track “Tides.” Starting off with a simple lead guitar riff, the song quickly adds drums and the chugs of a rhythm guitar, and in no time the track builds right into the second track, ”Landlocked.” The thing that really stood out for me in “Landlocked” was both the guitar work and the lyrical content. A stand out line in this song is, “If I go to the sea and if my sails are raised I trust the weight in my heart to pull me down beneath your waves.”
Track three, “Mutuality” kicks you right in the face with it’s fast paced intro, and just keeps on blistering along. Yet again, the guitar work really shines in this track, especially the lead riff around 2:15.
“Divide Et Impera” has some of the best vocal range on the entire album, with a nice mix of lows and mids.
“Eleven” opens with that discord that is so openly embraced in the modern metal genre. The shortest song on the album (next to the intro track) is all emotion and heavy riffs and pounding drums. This is one of those songs that most definitely gets a crowd moving at a show.
Vocals and bass open the 6th track “Questions,” which is a really cool touch. The drum work really shines on this track.
“Companion: Pt. 1: Narrative” and “Companion: Pt. 2: Perspective” close out the album quite well. The tracks would work great as a single track, but I really enjoy where the band distinguishes one song from the other with a held open note. 2:00 of part 2 brings what is closest to my definition of a breakdown on the entire album, which then picks up into a sexy lead riff over the breakdown rhythm.
Overall Companion is a good listen, the only issues I have are songs that slightly bleed together and a lack of (except for on “Divide Et Impera”) a more diverse range in screams. However, this is more personal preference, as I’m aware that Hardcore is more about the emotion of the music rather than it being complex, and in this, Eidola does a great job.