It’s somewhat unusual in this day and age for a label like Nuclear Blast to take a punt on a new prospect, however, seeing as Monte Connor got it right more often than not during his years with Roadrunner, benefit of the doubt is possibly due.
Irist began in 1995 with three chaps from Argentina, Chile and Brazil hot-footing it up to Atlanta, Georgia, meeting a couple of US kindred spirits to jam. Inspired by the halcyon days of Machine Head, Sepultura et al in the early 90’s, they proceeded to craft the kind of music that they wanted to hear.
Their sound is frankly huge and immersive. “Order Of The Mind” has a rich vein of unsettling yet warm dynamics throughout, delivered in a confident unpretentious manner. The clarity of production and lack of filler material is impressive; often, even with some of the classics, there’s an occasional arrangement choice which leaves me wincing marginally every time I hear it (the clumsy segue into the final verse of Metallica’s “Creeping Death” springs to mind) ; there are no such dropped bollocks in play here.
Irist borrow from many realms of the metal spectrum. Listen closely enough and you’ll hear metalcore tropes ala Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed, thrash breakouts that ape The Haunted and Revocation, post-metal introspection of Cult Of Luna or Deftones, and groove driven progressive flamboyance that Gojira and Mastodon would be proud of. Irist has stripped each subgenre down to its raw element, absorbing said gems into their own tech-infused sound without polish, pretention, or posturing.
Underpinning all of this is a huge performance from frontman Rodrigo Carvalho, his vocal delivery walking a tightrope between the staccato snarling of Jens Kidman (Meshuggah) and Pete Dolvings emotive shouty-singing from his days in The Haunted.
As heavy and accessible as they may be, there is no way should Irist ever be considered a gateway band. “Order Of the Mind” is an astoundingly mature and accomplished debut album, with a high standard of musicianship and songwriting.