6 Feb 2023
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/07/2022

18 Jul 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon

Coridian, who I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in my band’s most recent NZ gig, have put on a gig titled ‘Power to Rock’. But we do not get the power part straight away, we build up to it.

First we have an acoustic act in the form of Ben Ruegg from the band Channeled. He had a great warm and welcoming intro, in which he invites the audience to join him on a journey. He made great use of a Looper Pedal, which allows him to play a guitar part, after which it will repeat itself, allowing himself to then add another guitar part, or in this case, a bass guitar, and imitating the percussive effect of having a drum kit. He also uses to create lengthy instrumental sections, which is breath of fresh air, as acoustic acts, tend to have the singing as the only focal point.

He displays a great range of emotions in the different songs, as one song contains haunting melodies in the veins of Muse and Radiohead, another happier punk track, in the style of Foo Fighters. The range of dynamics he displays as a 1 man band is quite impressive, as he can go from the typical soft acoustic volume, to a climatic ending, through the use of his looper, but more importantly his vocals.

We get to know more about Ben as the gig goes on. He tells the crowd about his profession as a high school teacher, and some of his past struggles which inspire some of his songs. And he uses this to spread messages of positivity.

Overall, Ben aspires to be a positive role model, and I think we need more people like him, in the music scene as well the world.

Living State are the first official band. I was chatting away when they suddenly announced they were ready. As I looked at the stage, the first thought I had was "what an interesting band look". There was a guitarist in a red shirt and leather pants, rocking a Gibson Les Paul. The lead vocalist smiling away while rocking a Stratocaster, and a bass player rocking black clothing and wristband, giving us a more traditional metal look.

The front woman for the band, Melissa Holder, really brought the show together. With her very witty and upbeat personality, she made the vibe feel ‘down-to-earth’ and comfortable for the audience from the moment she first introduced the band, to the end.

The band as a whole was very comfortable on stage. There was guitarist Peter Krupski throwing picks at the audience with confidence. Bass player Lex Ujdur rocking on the bass, and Cameron Swan chilling out a bit more in the back with his massive drum kit.

The songs itself, has a diverse range of influences, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana are a few of the bands that comes to mind when it comes to their music, but with a more modern edge. On top of that you have Marissa’s vocals whose vibe makes me think of Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, while also aiming to channel Amy Lee of Evanescence.

The let-down of the band, was the mix, as Peter had a great guitar tone and melodic riffs, but was too low in the mix. And a bit more detrimental was Marissa vocals, which I’m not sure is the fault of the mix, or her struggle with projection. Ultimately it may be a combination of both. Which is a shame, because when I heard their song in a professional recording, Marissa has a great voice and tone.

In the last song of the set, Lex added some backing vocals, and I think it definitely added a lot to the sound, and helped support Melissa too. I would be keen to hear more of this.

Overall, a great band with a lot of potential, I hope to see them grow and catch them again after some time.

And now time for Coridian.

They start off with a nice ambient cinematic intro, played by track, as drummer Kris Raven was the only person on stage. As the track came to a close, the other members jumped on the stage, and we were greeted by vocalist Dity Maharaj. I have seen a few ambient cinematic bands, and I personally think, that you need to launch into a song right after it, as all the momentum that has been built up by the track gets ruined if the front man breaks the illusion too quickly.

They then began their 1st song, and the sound came alive. The guitar was punchy and clear, the vocals were much clearer too, as you could hear every word sung by Dity.

One thing the band nails on the head, is their sound. Despite having only 1 guitar player, their sound is monstrous. Each of the 4 members contributes to make sure they are sounding as huge as possible. And in some sections when the drums switches to a ride-cymbal beat, and the guitars move from playing power-chords to octaves, the sound is still huge, a big part due to the power of Dity’s vocals.

Dity brings the stage-presence a front man needs to bring, the amount energy this man brings (through his jumping and rocking out) is quite amazing, considering what he has to sing: belting out many powerful and melodic choruses. Dity still shows a good amount a variety, and versatility, singing a bit quieter and with a lower register, when it is required in the moment.

Being the only guitarist in a Rock/Metal band is quite the challenge, but Mike Raven passes with flying colours. And as a guitarist I wonder how he does it. He uses a Mesa-Boogie amplifier, the brand of choice from Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, whose guitar sound carries through entire stadiums. After this observation, I thought, “Oh yeah, Duh”. But one thing that makes Mike unique is his use of his delay effect. Usually used in post-rock music. It really thickened and enhanced his sound, and set an atmosphere for the sound of the band.

Mike supports Dity by bringing out his own energetic performance, and together, with the powerful lightning of Dity, and the heavy clouds of Mike, they create a storm as they constantly vibe off one another.

Kris on drums was a pleasure to listen to; he provides a solid backbone which this kind of music needs. But he is also very playful at the same time, he had a very creative flair and tastefulness to his drumming. He had a lot of fills, and they were all very exciting - it didn’t feel like he was overusing ideas. In a different band or setting, he might be considered to be overplaying, but with Coridian it is perfect.

And then there is Nick Raven, who is a steadfast presence in the band; in person as well as sonically. Fulfilling the role that is required by bass players, Nick is the glue that grounds the band. And along with Kris, together they form a solid rhythm section.

With their great sound and energy, they played through the songs from their EPs Caldera and Eldur, after which they played a few of their more recent songs. Their songs contains traces of Metalcore and Nu Metal with their heaviness and groove, and then to go along with that, we have the vocals of Dity, reminding us of 2000’s Emo and Pop Punk, especially with his melodies.

After a few songs, the songs can maybe start to sound a bit formulaic to some. They have few songs however, with elements that gives a breath of fresh air, such as: a song that uses the 6/8 time signature, instead of the standard 4/4, a song that makes of a faster tempo and full-time beat (as this band really loves their slower tempo half-time beats, which they have nailed to perfection), and even a softer song with just Dity accompanied by a piano on track.

They finished their set, after which of course, comes the traditional encore, they perform the song, which has some Pop-Country influences with the guitar sound. By this point, Dity’s voice struggles a bit, especially since this song includes what may possibly be the highest note he has to hit. I know the singer to my band would just say no to the most vocally challenging song being unplanned at the end. But Dity pulls through, and should be commended.

Overall was a great experience to see these guys, I felt a bit more creatively inspired. They have a tour in a few months, and have an Auckland date on 3rd September, and I am definitely looking to attend.


Photo Credit: Tadashi Jokagi
Coridian Gallery

Living State Gallery
Channeled Gallery

 

About Coridian

Coridian is an progressive hard rock group from Auckland, New Zealand. Formed in 2015, the band consists of Mike Raven (Guitar), Kris Raven (Drums), Nick Raven (Bass) & Dity Maharaj (Vocals).

They’ve been described, “Raven brothers (Mike, Kris and Nick respectively) work as a well-oiled machine; the gear box of which is Maharaj, his vocals taking the band from a hum to a scream within seconds” (Ambient Light).

They've worked with some of the best names in NZ and Australian music including Zorran Mendonsa (City Of Souls, Shepherds Reign)) Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Claemus) and Ermin Hamidovic (Architects/Intervals).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coridian

Releases

Eldur
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Caldera
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Oceanic
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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