In 2002, the members of Candiria were all nearly killed in a horrific van accident. Worse yet, their muscular brand of hardcore (mixed with hip-hop and jazz fusion) has been overshadowed by screamo acts whining about the girls who dumped them on prom night. So a return as triumphant as the band's latest, What Doesn't Kill You, is, frankly, astonishing.
Not as complex or multifaceted as such previous releases as 300 Percent Density or The Coma Imprint, What Doesn't Kill You is an unimpeachable showcase of the band's strengths. Opening track "Dead Bury the Dead" is a two-fisted stomp with a scream-along chorus, and the instrumental closer "The Rutherford Experiment" bridges Sick of It All and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. But Candiria has added powerful melodies too. "The Nameless King," "Remove Yourself," and "Down" combine soaring choruses with crushing riffs, creating tracks that rock as much as anything by Disturbed or Machine Head.
Candiria's albums have always challenged complacent listeners. This time out, they're likely to take even their old fans by surprise. What Doesn't Kill You is Candiria's best -- and easily one of the best metal albums of 2004.