They call it “dance metal”; on the internet this music will be lumped into the “punk/metal/alternative” catch-all, but in listening to Cometa one can’t help but dance in a side-to-side fashion and reminisce of the 1980s and the PLAYER SELECT START screens of 8-bit videogames. For, like Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter II, Grant and Gareth Cometa have been trading hard-hitting (guitar) combos since their early days Manitoba, Canada. Today they are a force to be reckoned with on the CT coastline.
Cometa’s debut album In Rhyme and Reason conveys, above all, a sense of motion. These tracks offer the riffage of Iron Maiden spliced with the melodies of George Michaels and Michael Jackson. Recorded at Adorea Studios and produced with Travis Bell, their compositions like “Courage” and “Everything Red” hit the listener with shredding guitar melodies and ridiculous drum fills—these combined with sharp lyrical arrangements and roof-shaking harmonies make Cometa a sound that is hard to forget.
When asked how their music was composed, Gareth Cometa explains: “initially we used a program called Tabit to teach ourselves popular songs we liked. Eventually though, we started creating our own compositions, sending new ideas back and forth to each other through the internet. It was a great way to collaborate on song writing without actually being in the same room.” While Cometa is influenced by heavy metal riffs, the “dance metal” sound can be heard in songs like “Rule of Thumb”:
“I've always been a fan of incorporating off-beat nuances in my songwriting,” says Gareth, “the reggae beat in Rule just kinda worked and got the blood pumpin…Kevin Lyttle's "Turn Me On" was probably a big influence.”
The band formed in 2005 when bassist Haroon Ramzan contacted drummer Wes Long for an upcoming battle of the bands: “A message pops up asking if I am a drummer and if I can play ‘like, double bass rhythms?” and I said “ uh, yes” and Haroon then sent me the Tabit file for the song “Canon” which made me think—who are these guys and what the f*** are they thinking with this stupid-fast 32nd note double bass run at the end?…I knew I had to attempt to play these parts.”
Cometa is based out of New Haven, CT and has performed at Toads Place in New Haven, the Webster Theater in Hartford, and The Space in Hamden CT among others. They have opened for bands like Sevendust, Lost Prophets, and Rise Against. Their new album is set to release in Summer 2012.
Grant Cometa - Vocals / Guitar / Keyboard
Gareth Cometa - Vocals / Guitar
Haroon Ramzan - Vocals / Bass
Wes Long - Vocals / Drums
Three Songs (EP, 2009)
Courage (Single, 2012)
In Rhyme and Reason (LP, coming Summer 2012)