Straight To The Point: Quick Reviews Of WRVTH And IRATA

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It only makes sense that Wrath of Vesuvius would change their name, as WRVTH marks the beginning of a new and exciting sonic journey for these Californian tech death metallers. The nearly 60-minute opus weaves together concussive technical death metal and ethereal, atmospheric nuances into a transcendental metal release that stands out from the pack. WRVTH‘s brand of tech death is complex, but not overly showy and elaborate. Instead the band use their virtuosic chops to create blistering metallic passages that are more emotive and thunderous than dizzying. Combined with atmospheric, post-rock, progressive and jazz elements, this release is nothing short of enthralling. The record begins with serene, wavering clean guitars on “Harrowing Winds”, before it explodes into spiraling melodies and devastating chord progressions. Progressive-tinged, effect-drenched riffs and impressive solo work bleed into the bridge before the track returns to its icy beginnings and onward to a fiery conclusion. “Malaise” follows shortly afterward with a bass-heavy, moody intro that flows directly into an onslaught of fierce melodic guitar acrobatics and propulsive drumming. Tracks like “Endless Haze” delve deeper into the atmospheric side of the album with dense clouds of guitar generated sounds that hover above dissonant, Ulcerate-esque, lurching grooves. Tracks such as “Lured by Knaves” and “Amber Glow” feature gorgeous, jazz-tinged post-rock sections complete with piano and saxophone accompaniment. The album’s most defining moment, however, is the eight-minute centerpiece “Forlorn”. The track begins with over two minutes of shimmering, clean guitar driven buildup that paves the way for a lengthy procession of high octane melodic riffs that sound triumphant and surprisingly uplifting, even if they are punishing at the same time. WRVTH‘s self-titled album is arguably the band’s first step towards greatness. If this record is any indication of what the future holds, there will be no stopping these Californians.

Rating: 9/10
Label: Unique Leader Records
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Harrowing Winds”, “Malaise”, “Forlorn”, “Amber Glow” and “Into Bloom”
For Fans Of: Fallujah, Arkaik, Sulphur Aeon and Kronos


Irata – Sweet Loris

North Carolina’s Irata return this year with nearly 40 minutes of fuzzy, groove laden sludge/stoner metal on their sophomore effort, Sweet Loris. The album, after a period of being an instrumental only outfit and constant lineup changes, shows the rocking trio really hitting their stride. Irata sit comfortably between sludge and stoner metal with a slight inclination toward bellowing, heavy rock. The record begins with the seven-minute behemoth, “Lion Slayer”. The track cycles back and forth between hazy eyed, bass-lead verses and towering, corrosive sludge riffs throughout. Inklings of menacing melodies add an infectious flavor to the tune and bridges full of earth-shaking, chugging guitars provide the perfect amount of punch. The third song, “Daisy”, churns out galloping sludge stampedes and groove heavy rock riffs, while its successor,  “Chlorine”,  opts for lurching doom and gloom. “March by the Tens” flows back and forth between southern fried psychedelia and pummeling beatdowns, which flows into “Skin”‘s bouncing, Sabbathian swagger. Despite its attitude and inherent catchiness, Sweet Loris is not without its issues. Aside from a few tunes, the majority of the tracks are very similar in their approach and some, such as “Chlorine”, can be a bit long-winded at times. The album’s title track is its weakest moment, however. The upbeat, buzzing hard rock number, albeit catchy at times, is too repetitive for its own good and briefly slows the flow of the record down after the opus that is “Lion Slayer”. Sweet Loris is, without a doubt, Irata‘s most solid recording to date. But it’s occasional repetitiveness and tunnel vision keep it from being the best it could be.

Rating: 6/10
Label: Retro Futurist
Release Date: October 9, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Lion Slayer” and “Teeth of the Arctic Storm”
For Fans Of: Kylesa, Montezuma’s Revenge and Big Business


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