(Andy Synn recently wrote a three-line haiku of the new album by Irist, but now we have a second (and lengthier) opinion by Seattle-based writer Gonzo. The album is out now via Nuclear Blast.)
Atlanta sludge/prog unit Irist may be only one album into their young careers, but one listen to their ferocious debut Order of the Mind would have you believe otherwise. Both satisfyingly brutal and tastefully melodic throughout, the album displays the precise technicality of Mastodon and Gojira mixed with the savagery of early Soulfly. The result is something that scratches an itch you might not even realize you had.
Boasting thunderous riffs, head-nodding grooves, vocals that blast like sandpaper on balsa wood, and a rhythm section that sounds determined to use your head as a snare drum, Order of the Mind pummels its way through its 10-track length like it has something to prove. Given that it’s a major-label debut, maybe that was intentional. What it proves, though, is something bigger — it sees Irist obviously paying homage to the influences of the aforementioned bands, but it adds a layer of originality that’s markedly harder to pull off.