Candiria – The Grown Man’s Metal

11Mar09
candiria.jpeg

People are constantly asking me where I find my music. I usually tell them that I’m part of a super-secret organization of hipsters and the music elite. We get together on the third Tuesday of every month at an underground cafe for coffee, cigarettes and pie. There, we exchange mixtapes and participate in a circle jerk of superiority.

But this is only a half truth.

This organization does exist (kinda). But we get together on music forums. We write blogs. We go to shows. We share music online, through Pandora or Last.FM. We are as deeply entrenched in the scene as possible. We don’t watch MTV or BET. We don’t take recommendations from iTunes or Pitchfork. We get our music from real people without agendas. Real people who love music just as much as us. And in this instance, from a random San Francisco cab driver.

I don’t even remember his name. I don’t even really remember the cab ride. It was late. It was raining. And we were all drunk. But what I do remember is the music. This man played some of craziest shit I ever heard. It seriously blew me away. Hip Hop. Metal. Hardcore. It was like I was in a cab with The Gravediggaz. This guy was the Obi-Wan Kenobi of underground bands. One of those bands was Candiria.

At first listen, Candiria has a definite Nu-Metal fee. And back in the day, I was a huge fan of Nu-Metal–Early KoRn, Orgy’s first album, early Sevendust, Nonpoint, Deftones, Incubus’ S.C.I.E.N.C.E, Slipknot’s self-titled album. They all pretty much stayed in my CD changer for most of the late 90’s. And I spent a lot of time at the 9:30 Club in DC watching them play.

After KoRn released Issues in 1999, I started to grow out of that phase. By then, the genre was becoming littered with the shitty second wave of inferiority. Bands like Linkin Park, Papa Roach and Trapt soured me on Nu-Metal. And I moved on to more substantive music.

Occasionally, I’ll hear some really good heavy music–Circus Circus, Fall of Troy, From Autumn to Ashes–get all nostalgic and smile. But I haven’t really explored that world in a long while.

However, Candiria has brought me back. They remind of what drew us all to Nu-Metal in the first place. It’s raw aggression with sick beats. It’s straightforward and provocative lyrics. It’s underrated musicianship (every member of Limp Bizkit, save Fred Durst, could play the fuck out of their instruments). It’s that sound that makes you want to straight hit shit.

Candiria offers the best of that era. But with a mathcore feel and some decidedly Hip Hop sensibilities. They incorporate jazz-influenced drum breaks, solid guitar work and even some MCing seamlessly. This creates a unique and well thought out sound. It’s the grown man’s metal.

Best of all, Candiria is no one-trick pony. They don’t just scream at you. They don’t just mix Hip Hop and Metal. They don’t just beat you in the head with their technical proficiency. They don’t just make hook-laden, metal sing-a-longs. They’re versatile enough to combine all of these elements without coming off as cliched.

They show tremendous range and progression within their catalog. Each album is distinguished, mixing all their influences in new and fresh ways. Their earlier work is very raw and contains more Hip Hop tracks than their later albums. Their latest release, Kiss The Lie, abandons Hip Hop completely and is very clean, almost over produced. Personally, I think their standout album is 2004’s What Doesn’t Kill You…

I just can’t believe they’ve been around for 13 years and I hand’t heard of them till a few weeks ago. So thanks strange cab driver guy! If you’re reading this, please email any other bands I’ve overlooked. It’s not my fault, the super-secret coalition of hipsters has failed me.

Candiria Discography

1995 – Surrealistic Madness
1997 – Beyond Reasonable Doubt
2001 – 300 Percent Density
2002 – The C.O.M.A. Imprint
2004 – What Doesn’t Kill You…
2008 – Kiss The Lie


9MM Solution, What Doesn’t Kill You…


Without Water, 300 Percent Density


Colby, Kiss The Lie

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