No Tomorrow Night

Click to hear: “Voices of War”

Against the odds and all expectations, the Portland metal band Colepitz has revived itself after a decade of oblivion.

The core of the group is vocalist Rob Korhonen (formerly Rob Egbert) and guitarist Ray Suhy, most recently a member of the excellent post-rock band The Baltic Sea. The original Colepitz erupted in the late 1990s. Their intense live shows earned them a devoted following, lots of media buzz, and a record deal with a regional label that released their promising, self-titled debut. They opened for the big-name metal bands that came to town and toured the U.S. themselves with Chimaira.

After what their online bio describes as a “series of line-up changes,” Colepitz dissolved in 2001. Following an extended absence, Korhonen returned to town last year and reunited with Suhy. They recruited bassist Timbo Slice and drummer Brian Higgins (who’d played and toured with the band before), wrote an album’s worth of new songs in just a few months and entered producer John Wyman’s Windham studios this past winter.

No Tomorrow Night is ferocious. Korhonen, whose vocals bring Maynard James Keenan to mind, holds nothing back. Suhy shreds relentlessly, providing no shortage of cool fills and jaw-dropping solos. Higgins and Slice hang on heroically through every whiplash-inducing tempo shift.

The opener, “Voices of War,” is a standout track. Suhy wields a series of punishing riffs while Korhonen’s vocals progress from breathless yells to scratchy screams (“Attack! And kill them all!”). An extended coda, during which Suhy pulls off some Flamenco-style acoustic fingerwork over a Middle Eastern drone, segues seamlessly into the acoustic intro of the second song, “Sometimes It’s All You Have,” which promptly morphs into a stomping monster.

“Slow Climb” has a breakneck middle section that’ll drag you back into the pit. Dana Colley (of Morphine) makes a guest appearance on “In The Middle Of The Square,” contributing some dark sax tones to a section of the song. It’s a cool touch, but too brief — this collaboration could have been more fully realized.

The pace flags a bit in the album’s second half. The acoustic instrumental “Of Loss and Grace” leads into the brooding, eighth-and-a-half-minute “Now The Lion Fades.” But both “Electric World” and the closer, “Break Like No One Else Does,” rock out and break down gloriously.

Welcome back to the ’Pitz.

— Chris Busby

Colepitz plays a CD release show, with Whitcomb, Ruin and others, on Sat., June 12, at Empire Dine and Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland, at 9 p.m. Call 879-8988 for cover (21+).

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