Order of the Mind, the debut effort from fresh faced metallic quintet Irist, can only be described as the distillation of all that characterises that wilderness between mainstream and underground heavy metal. At first it’s difficult to pin down their sound. On ‘Burning Sage’ they deliver muscular grooves reminiscent of Gojira or a less polyrhythmic Meshuggah, but by the next track, ‘Severed’, they’re slinging moody melodic passages and Fear Factory-esque clean vocals. Sometimes they chug along with the swagger of any metalcore favorite you could name and at others they’re deftly wielding a flair unseen since the NWOAHM. The conclusion comes quickly; this is a band that wears their influences on their sleeves and isn’t afraid to splash between the waters of a half-dozen distinct scenes to make that fact even more obvious.
The Atlanta-based quintet deliver a record that’s crisply produced without shaving the meaty bite needed for these riffs to crunch and grind through the bounty of groovy moshers and atmospheric cuts on display. ‘Eons’ quickly instils the assumption that the early songs will be the heavier fare with its pummelling rhythms taking center stage, but Irist also manage to dance between heavier and softer tracks effortlessly throughout. No doubt this is due to vocalist Rodrigo Carvalho’s clean singing maintaining a masculine tone and the down-tuned riffs churning within even the most sombre bridge. There’s plenty of bite in Order of the Mind, but it leaves the same question many solid metal debuts leave; are they just the sum of their influences or something unique? Irist will have to answer that question in future, but in the meantime Order of the Mind burns hotter than most newcomer bands could hope for and Irist’s future stands to be quite bright.
Order Of The Mind is available now via Nuclear Blast and can be purchased here.
Words: Brett Tharp