Embracing the constant comparison to Tool placed around them and infusing it into their own imaginative canvas of progressive metal, Canadian band MIRE unleash their debut album Inward/Outward upon the world, a release you can easily assume will thrust the band into the higher echelons of their genre. Ten tracks of expressive and highly resourceful enticement, the release is a potently magnetic and elegantly enthralling proposition but one unafraid to flare up and dish out confronting muscular provocation. It is not exactly an encounter which instantly sets the world ablaze but certainly one which lingers and seduces for the same kind of result, a declaration of one potentially major and insistently creative band.
The follow-up to their well-received, self-titled EP of 2010, the new self-released album has been two years in the making, an album which guitarist Dave Massicotte said of, “We created this with our guts and have dared to explore a less common style of metal where the music is less obvious and sometimes requires the individual to have more than one listen before being able to grasp and really appreciate every musical element.” Recorded and jointly produced with Jean-Philippe Nault, the release takes little time in sparking ears and imagination. Opening track Complex from an intriguing rhythmic beckoning soon expands into a flame of guitars and bass predation. The drums of Stéphane Boileau flex greater sinews before providing an elevated pulsating interpretation of its initial contact as the strong and appealing tones of vocalist Jean-Philippe Lachapelle begins the track’s narrative. It is a riveting persuasion which adds textures and sonic endeavour the further in the song’s heart the band strolls. That gait is soon a forceful incitement as the guitars of Massicotte, who’s backing vocals also add extra temptation, and Bruno Chouinard find a rage to their riffs matching the throaty intensity of beats and the bass intent Doom Croteau. That Tool likeness is an open suggestion quite early on and to that you can add essences of A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, and even Karnivool, though ultimately the track is undeniable distinct to MIRE.
From the strong and inventive start, the following Tyrannicide immediately raises the quality of bait and temperature, its rub of jagged riffs aligned to classically hued keys, an early compulsion for the senses. The track takes little time to settle into a masterful seduction of rapacious riffery, vocal adventure, and another excellent rhythmic design from Boileau. There is a greater snarl and melodic acidity compared to its predecessor too which only incites greater hunger in the already in place appetite for the release, whilst its imaginative premise and passion fuelled fire soaks thoughts in an invigorating and imposing embrace which again adds to the drama and weight of the song’s suasion.
The two parts of Limitless come next, Pt. 1 a gentle melodic seduction with mellowness to voice and sound, though building shadows seem to go hand in hand with the melancholic keys and repetitive nature of the offering. The floating of female vocals alongside those of Lachapelle are a masterful and seductive lure which leads the senses into an emerging web of intensity which is stretched and explored fully in Pt.2. The track is ripe with sonic toxicity and creative contagion, its flight unafraid to twist into unpredictable avenues which keep the listener wrong footed but firmly absorbed in its dramatic and emotive exploration.
Convolution follows the impressive track, it a short stark piece of cyber intimidation which makes an imposingly suggestive intro for the equally outstanding Beast and The Machine. Riffs with a carnivorous breath alongside commanding rhythms open up the enslavement first before the guitars open their sonic arms to invite and immerse the imagination in a danger coated adventure guided by the constantly impressive tones of Lachapelle. Once again the band lends an almost primal and antagonistic voice to the sound of the song, but one which flirts and engages with the expressive vocals and melodic scenery. As most of the tracks, first contact is exciting and satisfying but the song only becomes more virulently potent and thrilling the longer you immerse into its fiery depths.
Both Catalan Atlas and Mantra Cymatic lead emotions on a provocative waltz even if neither quite live up to what came before. The first of the two certainly paints an inviting masterful weave of sonic colour and emotive hues whilst its successor as its title suggests, is a meditative almost shamanic slice of sultry and evocative temptation, harmonies and keys casting a sirenesque ambience veined by reflective vocals. Neither song has the same passion igniting spark as earlier songs but both leave satisfaction full before the excellent Open Circle stomps in, bursting into an expulsion of expressive rhythms, volcanic sonic potency, and passion drenched vocals. The track’s melodies shaped by keys and guitar similarly blaze in the encounter, helping make a rousing and incendiary slab of melodic metal. It brings the album to an immense close, though there is still the short instrumental Upheaval left, another corruptive slither of ambience and sound related to that within Convolution, but almost like an afterthought, and epilogue to it all rather than a persuasive venture.
Inward/Outward is an excellent first full-length declaration from MIRE, one which more than suggests that this is a band ready to rigorously seize the attention and appetite of progressive and melodic metal and hold it for a long time to come. It is hard not to be excited about the future of the band and what they potentially could seduce our emotions with on future horizons.
Check out the Music Video for Limitless Pt. 2 @ http://youtu.be/kQnqLxFv5oM
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