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Iris Divine: The Static And The Noise
Iris Divine - The Static And The Noise CD Album Review

Iris Divine: The Static And The Noise

Progressive Metal
3.5/5.0

Iris Divine emerged from the American progressive metal underground in 2015 with their interesting and well-received second album Karma Sown. Many online blogs and magazines put the band and album on the short list of new and notable. Now the band returns with The Static and The Noise, hoping to piggy-back on their former success.

Iris Divine Band Photo

Iris Divine

And they may have done so. Alternatively, there's a certain familiarity to Iris Divine's song craftsmanship that extends from the previous album. One of the tricky and clever skills that Iris Divine has is the ability to veneer their technical progressive metal in an abundance of melody, harmony, and groove. Sure their songs can be guitar-forward, riff frisky, and heavy in the rhythm section with the bluster of tempo and signature changes. But the songs also roll with rock groove, guitar harmony, notable melody, and subtle vocal harmony.

Conversely, if you don't listen for those nuances, all you will hear is heaviness, complex movements, then speed, and then, at times, Navid Rashid assertive vocals which can go to screamo (Taking Back The Fall) or growling (Echoes Effigies). Notable from Rashid is stronger guitar solos that rise from his pummeling riffage. But like Karma Sown, they're few, actually only in the first three songs (that I could tell). Rashid is basically a riff king. Boiling this down, I found the songs that represented the aforementioned best characteristics to be Like Glass, Catalyst, Taking Back The Fall, and Echoes Effigies, the latter three only because they had impressive guitar solos.

In the end, I think my final opinion of The Static And The Noise is one of ambivalence. Even with the self-evident effort to accentuate melody and groove, I mostly heard riffage, heaviness, speed, and technical bravado. Perhaps several listens would improve my experience and impressions, but after three spins, do I really need more. Check out Taking Back The Fall. You may have a different opinion.



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The Bottom Line

In the end, I think my final opinion is one of ambivalence. Even with the self-evident effort to accentuate melody and groove, in The Static And The Noise I mostly heard riffage, heaviness, speed, and technical bravado.

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