Produced by Carlo Bellotti and Final Coil. Recorded by Cristian Coruzzi and Wahoomi Corvi at Real Sound Studios, Italy in September 2018. Mixed and Mastered by Jonny Mazzeo at Mathlab Studios October to December 2018. Released on WormHoleDeath on Friday 12 April 2019. Artwork created by Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art (Flotsam and Jetsam, Rock Goddess, etc).
For fans of Alice in Chains, Amplifier, Glass Hammer, Katatonia, Riverside, and Tool.
This is a concept album that has sat dormant in my review pile for the last three years while my life has slowly unravelled through ill health (both mental and physical), divorce, job changes, relationship dramas and grief, all the while trying to be a constant presence and support for my children. The world we left behind for others, indeed.
It’s a cliché to talk about a band’s difficult second album. Many second albums don’t live up to their predecessor’s debuting brilliance. But this second opus from Final Coil is an extraordinary piece of work that clearly shows a growing maturity in their craft.
It is really worth sharing part of the story from Final Coil’s frontman Phil Stiles behind the inspirations for this album:
I don’t think any of us in Final Coil thought we would have a second album ready to go so quickly after Persistence of Memory (2017), not least because there was really nothing left over from those sessions that could be used moving forward.
The dual catalysts for The World We Left Behind For Others proved to be both political and personal. As we were mixing Persistence…, I received word that my grandmother, Stella, had passed away after a relatively short illness. At 101, it was hardly a shock that she was gone, but she had played a major part in my upbringing and I was heartbroken.
Whilst clearing out some of her things, we discovered a couple of letters which shed light on a part of her life that she had never discussed with us.
They exposed not only the fragility at the heart of any human relationship, but also the prevailing social attitudes of a time in which women were expected to behave in a certain way regardless of the circumstances they faced.
The language of the letters seemed to mirror, in many ways, the terrible polarisation of society in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. With families and friends facing one another across a social chasm, it seems that far less has changed since the early 1900s than we, as a society, like to believe. To see populist speakers gaining traction, right wing groups once more on the rise and a fierce rejection of globalism it seems that there are those who actively wish to raise the spectre of a divided, nation-state-led world once again; along with all the divisions that come with it; and it was those two subjects that bled into lyrics that I started to write at a ferocious rate.
Thematically, the whole album revolves around the first track Stiles wrote for this release, track 11 “Imaginary Trip”. He didn’t intend to write a concept album, but as the writing continued he realised that “the melodies of that song were haunting the other tracks on the record”. What emerged from the writing was a natural sequel to Persistance of Memory which dealt with themes of isolation through a lack of communication, while The World We Left Behind For Others explores the consequences that a lack of communication has within families and society.
Musically, this album feels heavy, dark and brooding. There is a depth and soul and humanity to it. This is an album that demands to be listened to as a single piece, at one sitting, in order. It’s easy to draw comparisons with Tool, particularly in songs like “Keeping Going” (track 6) and “Ashes Ashes” (track 8) but this is far from a Tool rip off. Final Coil clearly have a voice of their own which is creative and emotional. While it’s possible to tease out inspirations, they have a voice of their own and an integrity.
I remember feeling excited when I first listened to this album in early 2019. More than three years later, I feel even more excited to be listening to this extraordinary collection of songs perhaps more so because of the journey we’ve all gone on through this ongoing pandemic, perhaps because I’ve gone on my own roundabout journey through grief.
I can see this album being on my regular playlist for quite some time to come.
Review score: 95%
Phil Stiles of Final Coil contacted me inviting me to preview their album, which I was delighted about. I have no connections to either party. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Phil Stiles, and to Final Coil for creating fresh, exciting music.