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Effloresce Coma Ghosts album cover
3.87 | 56 ratings | 13 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. Crib (8:12)
02. Spectre Pt. 1: Zorya´s Dawn (10:34)
03. Pavement Canvas (8:58)
04. Undercoat (2:54)
05. Swimming through deserts (7:11)
06. Shuteye Wanderer (16:31)

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicki Weber / Vocals, Growls, Flutes, Percussion
- Dave Mola / Guitars, Mellotrons
- Sebastian Ott / Bass
- Tobi Süß / Drums
- Tim Ivanic / Guitars

Releases information

Artwork design - Nicki Weber & Dave Mola
Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio, Örebro - Sweden
Released on February 10th, 2012

Thanks to AstralliS for the addition
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EFFLORESCE Coma Ghosts ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

EFFLORESCE Coma Ghosts reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars Although the German progressive metal scene has plenty of established veterans like Sieges Even, Vanden Plas, and Mekong Delta, the country hasn't had too many young voices to carry the torch in recent years. Judging by their killer debut album, Effloresce may very well be the next big progressive metal export from Germany - Coma Ghosts shows a band with a very firm grasp on how to deliver amazing prog metal while still pushing the boundaries of the genre, and the fact that this level of maturity is obtained on a debut album is admirable. In short, Coma Ghosts is a professional, memorable, and original observation that should be satisfying metal fans well into 2012 and beyond!

Opeth, particularly on albums like Blackwater Park and Watershed, is clearly a large influence to Effloresce. While their sound is not entirely dependent on these Swedish veterans, the mix of 70's progressive rock, melodic death metal, and folk found throughout much of Coma Ghosts makes the reference almost inevitable. Effloresce makes their main distinction from Opeth by keeping the death metal influences to a minimum, and instead including more traditional-sounding progressive metal sections as well as an occasional gothic atmosphere. Female vocalist Nicki Weber also helps give Effloresce a voice of their own, and her powerful clean pipes and occasional black metal-styled rasps are an integral part of the band's style. Although I tend to think that her harsh vocals could've been integrated into the music a bit more convincingly and delivered with more power, it's a rather minor flaw in the long run since the majority of the vocals here are excellent clean singing.

While the Opeth comparison is rather invalid throughout much of the album (songs like "Crib" bear little resemblance to the Swedes), a song like "Swimming Through Deserts" could very well be the creation of Mikael Akerfeldt with the addition of a beautiful soprano vocalist. The 70's-styled progressive rock with a jazzy, folky, and slightly twisted edge will strike a chord with many prog metal listeners, and Effloresce delivers this style just as convincingly as they do when it comes to pummeling metal riffs. Coma Ghosts is one of those rare cases where, even though I'm able to identify plenty of obvious influences in the music, the style is still wholly original. The strength of the composition and execution is what makes Coma Ghosts a truly worthwhile experience, however, and in addition to crafting exceptionally well-written pieces of music, the musicianship is exceptional across the board. Although Effloresce may be relatively new to the scene, their craft as musicians is never questioned on this album.

As an additional bonus, Coma Ghosts was mixed and mastered by Swedish metal legend Dan Swanö of Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, and Bloodbath fame, so you can expect an absolutely killer sound to top things off. Though the relatively unimpressive harsh vocals and occasionally overtly Opethian influence may keep many listeners from calling this a masterpiece, there are still more than enough assets to make this a remarkable album. Effloresce have gotten off on the right foot with this excellent debut offering, and I'll be ecstatic to hear what they have up their sleeves in the coming years. When December rolls around, I have a feeling this will be praised not only as one of the year's most impressive debuts, but also as one of 2012's best progressive metal records - it really is that good! My rating here will be 4 big stars, as well as an easy recommendation to fans of the more organic and melancholic side of prog metal. This is a must-hear if you're into progressive metal that rarely relies on the 'traditional' sound pioneered by the likes of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Coma Ghosts' - Effloresce (8/10)

Some months ago, I was introduced to Effloresce through their first- and at the time only- release, an EP that instantly screamed a fusion of the most trademarked elements of both Dream Theater and Opeth. While I was impressed with Effloresce's musical ability and even some of their songwriting chops, I ultimately felt that the band had fallen short in terms of creating a lasting musical experience, thanks in no small part due to the derivative nature of their sound. As female-fronted bands in metal go, Effloresce were certainly one of the better acts I had had the pleasure of hearing, but I wondered if they would ultimately go down in history as 'that Opeth band with the female vocalist'. 'Coma Ghosts' is now their start in the world of full-length recordings, an hour of progressive metal which has seen some much-desired improvement in the areas where I thought the band could use some work. Although their influences are still evident, I can say that Effloresce has broken out of the Opeth-worship pit that I feared would swallow them, and in doing so, have created one of the strongest prog metal albums to come out lately.

At least one thing I mentioned when reviewing the EP still stands: while I have generally seen the female-fronted metal band to be a format that favours bands who sacrifice instrumental integrity in order to make their vocalist the centre of attention, Effloresce has always been a band that enjoys a well-rounded contribution from all musicians. Vocalist Nicki Weber's voice plays a central role in Effloresce's music, but a sense of instrumental complexity sets this band apart from the legions of cookie-cutter symphonic metal bands that have stigmatized the female-fronted approach. Not only that, but Weber's incredibly melodic voice works very well for the music that Effloresce does. Although the riffs and thunderous drum work seems to take a hint from the European melodic death world, Weber's higher pitched, near-operatic delivery soars over without ever pushing the instruments into the background. This may be in part due to the legendary Dan Swano's expert mixing of the album, but Effloresce have cleverly avoided falling into some of the ruts I may have once suspected for them.

The songwriting and arrangement on 'Coma Ghosts' is nothing short of ambitious. Effloresce are still something of a disciple of the prog-death powerhouses Opeth, but their music feels valid and relevant to the current metal scene. From more mellowed-out jazz tunesmanship ('Swimming Through Deserts') or death metal intensity ('Pavement Canvas') or even that welcome prog metal archetype, the 16 minute epic, Effloresce root themselves very firmly within the 'prog metal' school. Given the aging prog metal canon in 2012, some of the risks that Effloresce take feel superfluous, such as having a 'Part 1' to the second track 'Spectre' and implying a sequel in the next album. Where Effloresce strikes gold however is in their tasteful melange of bands that proggers will instantly identify, but using those disparate elements in order to create something that feels relatively fresh. An excellent album, and it's a pleasure to see the potential I first heard in Effloresce to blossom like this.

Review by VanVanVan
4 stars With many of the big names in progressive metal moving away from (or at least taking a break from) their classic styles, it's nice to hear a newer band that can pull off the genre so convincingly. Opeth is definitely the closest comparison to Effloresce's sound, but with a female vocalist and a greater focus on vocal harmony, the group brings plenty that's fresh and original as well. Furthermore, Coma Ghosts is packed with variety: from crunching riffs to psychedelic atmospheres to melodic solos, there's nary a dull or repetitive moment to be found on the entire album.

'Crib' begins the album with some classic sounding synths before introducing some heavy, almost martial guitar riffs that lead into the introduction of some very powerful female vocals. All the while, of course, the guitar riffs keep on chugging away, providing an excellent heavy background for the strong melodies in the vocals and occasional lead guitar lines. The group shows some Opeth influence with the inclusion of a softer, more atmospheric part in the middle of the track that features ethereal synths and guitars as well as some minimal percussion. Intensity builds back up, however, towards the end of the track, with the same martial riffs from the opening growing louder and louder before a very Dream Theater-esque guitar solo bursts forth. The song closes out with a reprise of the first vocal motif before finishing off with more of those nice, crunchy riffs.

The proggily named 'Spectre Part I: Zorya's Dawn' comes next, and at 10 minutes, it's a doozy. Another excellent riff kicks off the track before the track launches into a killer guitar solo that's again very reminiscent (to my ears, at least) of Opeth. After the solo concludes there's a softer, less distorted guitar part which leads into another great vocal melody. I really have to commend the singer; her vocals range from tender emoting to strident belting and all of the various styles are pulled off with equal aplomb. Adding to the sonic palette is the introduction of growled vocals at about the five minute mark. I understand that not everyone is a fan of this vocal style, but I've always thought that it can give the music a bit of extra punch if used correctly, and that is certainly the case here. Regardless, the growls are used only briefly, and the band shows a remarkable amount of compositional sophistication in transitioning back to a more melodic, atmospheric style. The track closes with a vocal reprise of the track's central motif before ending with a dramatic thunderclap effect.

'Pavement Canvas' begins with another lighter section, featuring some almost jazzy guitar, bass and percussion that play off each other very well in an instrumental introductory section. At about a minute and a half in, a heavier instrumentation takes over, with distorted guitars laying down some crushing riffs that are soon augmented by frenetic percussion and vocals soon after that. 'Pavement Canvas' features some of my favorite vocal moments on the album, with excellent clean melodies and growls that sound even rawer and more brutal than on the previous track. Again, I can hear definite similarities to older Opeth material, but the decidedly different vocal tone and occasionally minimalistic and jazzy atmospheres keep the song from ever sounding like a clone.

'Undercoat,' the shortest track on the album, starts off with some very cool, spacey sounds that provide a nice moment of respite after the particularly intense previous track. Delicate, wavering keyboards and a psychedelic, melodic guitar solo round out the sound of the brief instrumental track and 'Undercoat' ends up being a nice interlude in this intense album.

'Swimming Through Deserts' begins with a very psychedelic sound, and has some of the strongest stylistic similarities to Opeth yet, though this hearkens more to that band's softer material. Excellent atmospheres are the crux of the sound here, with clean, strummed guitar and excellent, understated use of electric as well. 'Swimming Through Deserts' is a great song showing that the band is far from a one track pony-if this song is any indication, Effloresce can do breezy and dreamy as well as they can do brutal and intense.

'Shuteye Wanderer,' however, swings back hard in the other direction. With growls and heavy riffing appearing in the first minute, the track goes for broke with a 16.5 minute running time and a full-on, epic prog metal sound. For about the first 2 minutes the track features a very heavy sound, displaying instrumental prowess before stripping down the sound to introduce vocals. The singing is understated and nuanced, with great use of harmony as well as melody. After this softer section, the heavy riffs come back, and growled and clean vocals switch off for a little while to great effect. What follows after is one of the most surprisingly effective sections on the entire album; a soft, melodic instrumental interlude of sorts featuring a wonderful flute part that manages to integrate itself perfectly into the heaviness of the rest of the track. Vocals return for a brief moment after this before the track launches into another excellent instrumental section, with a killer guitar solo and more satisfyingly crunchy riffing. The final third of the track features another softer section with delicate, harmonized vocals as well as a final reprise of one of the earlier vocal melodies, this time recast over much heavier music. It's a great way to give the song some closure, and by the time the track's last guitar solo fades out I'd venture a guess that most prog-metal fans will find themselves more than satisfied.

Overall, then, Coma Ghosts is an excellent album. While those who couldn't find the classic sound they were looking for on Opeth's 'Heritage' might find what they're looking for here, writing this band off as a simple Opeth clone would be a foolish mistake. Effloresce show an impressive degree of sophistication on this, their first full length album, and I heavily suspect that the prog community will be hearing a lot more from this band in the future. An excellent debut and hopefully an album that will be followed by many more releases.


Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German band EFFLORESCE has been around for a good few years, but it wasn't until 2009 that the band solidified with a stable line-up. They made an initial EP later that year, and in the spring of 2012 their debut album "Coma Ghosts" was released, courtesy of the newly formed German label Generation Prog Records.

"Coma Ghosts" is a rather impressive debut effort by the German band Effloresce. Refined progressive metal of the vintage variety is perhaps something of a foundation, but as the band frequently heads out to gentler and more extreme territories both, the end result is a disc that is fairly innovative and diverse, and merits a check by those who find such a description tantalizing.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Effloresce is an energetic metal band fronted by vocalist Nicki Weber who at times sounds like the female vocalists of Goth bands Nightwish, After Forever and Epica, but also has some moments where she growls. When a woman growls in metal it really is quite startling, reminding me of the Asarte and Kittie growls, quite unsettling but as powerful as male vocalists. Niki also is talented in the musical field playing some scintillating flute and percussion. Her dominating prescence is of course obvious but Effloresce also have some great musicians with guitarist shredder Dave Mola, who also plays Mellotrons adding to the ethereal quality of the music. Sebastian Ott is on bass, Tobi Sub on drums and also Tim Ivanic plays guitars.

"Coma Ghosts" is not extreme in heavy thrashing but mostly has a steady measured tempo with some complex guitar riffs. It opens with the melodic 'Crib' where Niki stays on the crystal clear vocal technique. On 'Spectre Pt. 1: Zorya´s Dawn', a 10:34 shredfest, the guitars begin with intricate fast riffing and then it settles with measured cadence and some nice guitar interplay along with a strong bassline. This has a more progressive feel, with odd rhythm breaks and time sigs that shift in tempo. There are some Gothic resonances at 4:50 with choral voices, and then Niki begins screeching, quite a horrific sound but it darkens the mood well. Later more technical metal riffs crash through and then suddenly the lilting serenity of flute chimes in. There are enough chord progression changes and mood shifts to make this one of the most progressive songs on the album.

The inventiveness continues with 'Pavement Canvas', a 9 minute track with an ominous droning intro, that fades up with rhythmic percussion and guitar phrasing. The wind effects add to the atmosphere and then a chunky guitar riff plunges it into heavy territory. The drums launch in to precision blastbeats and there is a quirky fractured time sig. Eventually Niki's vocals chime in with beautiful resonance and later she reverts to the screechy style. The guitar riff is killer on this track and the lead break cranks along the disjointed tempo.

'Undercoat' is a short track with an ambient tranquility, swathes of keyboards and ghostly reverberations. The lead guitar soars beautifully over, making this one of the calmest tracks on the album. It is followed by 'Swimming Through Deserts', that opens with more gentle meandering guitars. Niki's voice flows along nicely, angelic and crystal clear, along with some narrative interjections in this ballad. This is the band in a contemplative mood, lilting and with a drifting lullaby feel.

'Shuteye Wanderer' is a 16 and a half minute epic to close the album. Dave Mola throws the anchor down with some fret melting guitar outbreaks; his lead hammers along with a blinding ferocity and fast bass and percussion. It settles after the breakneck opening into a soft tempo with Niki's sweet tones and strong ambient music. The guitars crash through overtaking this atmosphere and more scintillating lead breaks are accompanied by raspy growls. There is a fiery extended instrumental section with choppy rhythms moving from speed metal to crawl and back to peaceful passages. The mood swings are wonderful, maintaining interest throughout. The flute returns and brings things to a pastoral change in the atmosphere. A rumbling roar of thunder cracks the silence and it builds with a portentous vibe, as Niki's gorgeous vocals interject at 9 and a half minutes in. eventually the guitars unleash their fury and the drums move into hyperspeed mode until it all breaks into tranquility and an angelic vocal. This track is a genuine delight, with some of the more innovative structures from the band.

To conclude the album delivers the right dosage of heavy guitar thrash with keyboard ambiance, growls are used in the heavier sections and are quite brutal yet Niki is capable of pure beauty and choses this operatic style for the most part. The guitars are incredible on the album, especially the huge lead solos, and it is all capped off by precision technicality on bass and drums. The result is a great album full of sound and fury signifying prog metal bliss.

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Effloresce is a german progressive metal band, signed on the young label Generation Prog Records, founded by the enthusiastic bassist of jazz-fusion band Relocator, Michael Schetter.

With 'Coma Ghosts', they sign a quality first album with top-notch production, to be filed somewhere between Dream Theater and The Gathering at the time of 'Mandyllion'.

Most of the tracks are filled with an overwhelming tension, brought by martial or galloping rhythms, obsessing and insisting guitars, the haunting and majestic Hammond of "Spectre Pt.I- Zorya's Dawn", as well as the gravity of Nicki Weber's voice, in a pleading fashion most of the time, yet quite solemn in "Pavement Canvas". The short musical interlude "Undercoat" set apart, there is nonetheless one song ("Swimming through desert") that lands like a UFO in the tormented climate, as the light- weighted music, the pastoral mood with acoustic guitar and the sunny voice of Nicki, are so different from the other tunes. The disturbed guitar that concludes the track ensures nonetheless a return to the desolated world.

Half-angel, half-demon, Nicki Weber sings with a voice that is delicate and repulsive in turn. In this fight of the extremes, the beautiful wins over the ugly, "grunted" chant, which is the (mis)deed of the young woman, is indeed scarce. And, as if this split was not enough to highlight the incredible range of her vocal abilities, Nicki fills us with joy in her flute parts that are more than welcome to temper the tension of the mood ("Spectre Pt.I- Zorya's Dawn" and "Shuteye Wanderer").

In a nutshell, this is a very enjoyable album, in which a dynamic music devoid of any flashiness and with spare and never invasive swirling guitars, back a bewitching voice.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars I am very used to being late to the party, especially with living at the end of the world, so I have only just come across this album which was released in 2012. It was the debut album from German band Effloresce, following on from a 3- track EP and according to their website it was very well received at the time, even being voted best progressive metal album of 2012 by some. But their site has not been updated since 2016, although I have tracked down singer Nicki Weber and found a post from 2018 where she says the band will still do a second album, so there may be hope yet. Hope? Yep, I want to hear more from these guys as unlike many bands within the spectrum who either embrace metal so hard they forget the prog, or vice versa, these guys have a strong grip on both sides of the spectrum moving along the scale as it suits them.

This means we can get numbers which are quite neo prog in many ways, except often with more metallic drumming, and then we can go into full on metallic-style prog with the band fully firing. Then at the front there is Nicki, who often sings like an angel but can also growl when she needs to, immediately making me think of Angela Gossow. There are times when they remind me somewhat of Lacuna Coil, which did make me wonder if the album title is a tip of the hat to the 2002 album 'Comalies', and like them they have a very diverse approach to the job at hand. The sound and production are superb, but one would expect nothing less seeing as how the mighty Dan Swanö mixed and mastered the release. It is polished, interesting throughout with plenty of movement and change in the overall approach, by a band who are skilled and a great singer. It never sounds like a debut by an unknown band but instead by one who has been around for years and are at the top of their game. Why they have not been picked up by a label such as Nuclear Blast is something of a surprise, and one can only hope the second album is still a possibility, as this is a band with a lot to offer.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Effloresce ? "Coma Ghosts" 12/20 47th place album of the year 2012 For some reason, 2012 has been filled with female fronted albums. 13 of my top 50 have a female vocalist. Although technically that number should be 25, there never have been a great abundance in my area of music. This is th ... (read more)

Report this review (#851265) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When a new band pops-up out of nowhere, it's nothing but an exciting pleasure to the greedy ear. Likewise, I run onto Effloresce, a progressive metal band from Germany. The band members are Dave (guitar, keys), Tim (guitar), Basti (bass), Tobi (drums) and last but not least Nicki on vocals (and no ... (read more)

Report this review (#786723) | Posted by meatball | Thursday, July 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In this day and era, with so many bands and different fusion of styles going on, it's really difficult to be surprised by up-and-coming bands. What can they possibly bring to the table? Well, I'm glad I have found Effloresce. This German band, comprised of a female vocalist/flautist, two guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#750780) | Posted by Hprog | Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the first things I thought as I listened to this album was "these guys sound like...Fates Warning mixed with, that's not it...not at all...." I was immediately struck by this sense of familiarity, and yet I could not put my finger on particular influences. This is a good thing ... (read more)

Report this review (#723301) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Thursday, April 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Effloresce is a band from Germany, that has one EP out for years. Then they signed with Dan Swanö, the Swedish metal legend, to mix their debut album, that is Coma Ghosts. My expectations for this album weren't that big, I expected some rehearsed ideas from Dream Theater and Opeth. To my surp ... (read more)

Report this review (#633662) | Posted by talha | Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The contemporary prog scene has two main areas: the first is that of the fairly legendary bands who focus on keeping their reputation, whilst the second being that of the newly formed bands that want to emulate the aforementioned. The problem is that legendary bands try to find the freshness t ... (read more)

Report this review (#627001) | Posted by aSimionescu | Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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