Iris Divine

Though no information was provided in their EPK, I did find a press release from […]
Iris Divine - Mercurial album cover

Though no information was provided in their EPK, I did find a press release from their record label, which stated "unafraid to grow beyond their progressive metal foundations, the band fuses punk, pop and alternative sounds into the songwriting of the new album, while heavy riffs, melodic vocals and multiple time changes anchor the band to its roots." The album contains eight tracks.

"Bitter Bride" opens the album. It opens with heavy distorted rhythms and screaming vocals before settling into a groove of staccato guitars and some dissonance. It's Progressive in the sense of the meter shifting, but most of the melodies come from the vocals. The bass lines are fantastic. "Silver Tongued Lie" has a similar sound until some melodic leads come in after the second chorus. This is pretty unique music overall, and something that I really haven't heard before. I am not entirely sure what to make of it, but let's keep listening.

"Thirteen" is a longer song, beginning with more dark and dissonant tones. The musicianship from a trio is quite impressive. Some melodies come through in the opening of the song, followed by huge, meaty bass notes. The vocals are more expressive here along with some great harmonies. "Sapphire" is a shorter song with more melodies. This is the sound they have been hinting at but really nail in this track. Rounding the second half, the riffs begin to break into heavier offerings. "Death by Consensus" opens with attacking tones in the guitars, bass and drums with a keen edge to the difficult timing that they are absolutely mastering. Two minutes in and the sound morphs with charming melodies that soar into the heavens.

"Negative Seed" is a heavier offering, with tight and tough rhythmic passages and some sweet vocal harmonies. Weight musings with raspy vocals dominate the sound. This song is punishing but also melodic. "Breaking the Paradigm" begins with some odd guitar sounds, preparing to strike out with fury and purpose. Settling down, it retreats to a darker groove and attacks with all of the precision of a viper, never missing. More beefy bass notes with some spacey keyboards round out the sound, along with a decisive guitar solo. "Mercurial" closes the album. Beginning with spoken word whispers, it moves forward with expressive vocals and gloomy rhythms. Melodies are a little more subdued in this song.

I am somewhat dumbfounded that I have never heard of the band before, being a fan of Progressive music. They present some challenging passages that require a keen sense of timing on the album. Brian Dobbs is also a monster on the bass guitar, playing with the fluidity of Geddy Lee and the ferocity of Less Claypool. I could have used just a bit more in the melody department, and perhaps more keys, but it's clear that the band has an intelligent and sophisticated sense of songwriting. The production is also top notch. You don't want to miss this one.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








"Mercurial" Track-listing:

1. Bitter Bride
2. Silver Tongued Lie
3. Thirteen
4. Sapphire
5. Death by Consensus
6. Negative Seed
7. Breaking the Paradigm
8. Mercurial

Iris Divine Lineup:

Navid Rashid - Vocals, Guitar
Brian Dobbs - Bass
Scott Manley - Drums

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