Friday, 6 June 2014

IRN – IRN (2013) / 87%

Spiteful beaver sustained with sludgey maple syrup

Out of Toronto, this trio of metal veterans released this awesome piece of music last year and it deserves a lot of credit for being so fucking heavy. Mostly coming from a black metal background, the musicians created a sort of relentlessly intense doom metal with big hints of sludge, post hardcore, noise or even some stoner metal. One thing that is certain is the fact they're heavy as fuck. I regret missing the opportunities I had to see them live now but they're playing Montréal quite often nowadays alongside like-minded bands such as Show of Bedlam.

Alongside their friends of Thantifaxath (perhaps the best contemporary Canadian black metal band), they're apt at creating entrancing atmospheres nursed by the rich simplicity of their sound and their ability to stir the dissonant and the slow together. The three songs release starts with this massive seventeen minutes song called “Adrift Between Burned Out Villages”. Despair and desolation are two of the stronger emotions this track relies upon. It's slow, crushing and the vocals of Jeff K. are a nasty affair, harsh and deep, the bassist don't waste anytime in introducing himself, he fucks you up with all the spite he's capable of and you're not asking anything else than that. His bass skills are good too, very present and a great companion to the massive and well produced guitar riffs. The production is airy but quite dreadful, it's very efficient for a debut album, these guys are aware of what's needed to create a solid yet atmospheric album.

As for the guitars of Ken McDonald, you can definitely feel he knows exactly what he's doing, the dude studied jazz music (he has his own quartet where he plays the double bass) and it's apparent since he's in the “less is more” category. He's also yet another big fuck you to anyone denigrating the artistic qualities of metal musicians. Technicality is irrelevant, true musicianship doesn't bother with that as he delivers fuzzy riffs like a machine. There's no leads, they would be pretty useless to demonstrate all the darkness they're elaborating, it's composed of well calculated slow riffs with the atmospheric weight of at least twenty corpses. The two other songs are seven minutes numbers but they don't deviate from the formula established in the first half, it's slow, brooding doom/sludge of the highest calibre distilled and refined till the content is accurately measured to be optimal.

Akin to the French sludgey doomsters Eibon or the crusty black metal played by the Brits of Dragged Into Sunlight, IRN likes to integrate samples to their music alongside their spiteful vocals. Chosen by the drummer Will Bustin, the samples are speeches about social problematics such as procreation by intellectuals such as Joe Coleman or Robert Anton Wilson but also movies like the classic Italian flick Alucarda. It's giving a sort of post modern feel to the whole thing, handling current issues and presentation the band as a current, non archaic sort of unit. It's not relying on the past influences but it's rather exploring the vastness of the heavy sort of sludge that is perhaps a bit more prevalent in Europe, a continent where the destruction contemplates the luxurious constructions from the past eras.

Establishing themselves as the premier “extreme” doom band in the North, IRN simply kills its opponents with this half an hour of music. Sad honesty is delivered with ease and pain on the self titled statement! It's free (or pay what you can) on Bandcamp so you, merry readers, have no excuses, leave your happiness at the door and get crushed underneath their layers of slow riffs and nasty screeching.

Theories concerning the name of the band:
-Irregular Rageful Nomad
-Intelligent Roadie Normalisation

-Irish Rotting Nihilism
-Ivysaur Raikou Nidorino

IRN on Facebook

IRN on Bandcamp - Free download 
Ken M.'s quartet
Interview with the band done by Breathe Plastic

No comments: