Arriving fully-formed as if from nowhere, Irist’s debut record is a shockingly confident mission statement. Given the seal of approval by Nuclear Blast and content to let the music do the talking, Order of the Mind is ten tracks of assured and diverse metal, owing debts to Gojira and The Ocean. But it was Brazil’s Sepultura that motivated guitarist Pablo Davila, from Argentina, and bassist Bruno Segovia from Chile to go for it: the Cavalera brothers had proven there was space for a South American band in the genre, and they’ve got their sights set on carrying the torch.
Rounded out by Atalantans Adam Mitchell and Jason Belisha on guitar and drums respectively, and Rodrigo Carvalho from Brazil on vocals, this pan-American group draws its sounds from an equally wide net. Lead single Burning Sage erupts with Carvalho’s almighty voice roaring over the band’s rhythmic cacophony. That it packs in a towering chorus, a calm-before-the-storm rest period, and an epic crescendo is made all the more remarkable by its short runtime. This kind of sound is familiar to fans of post-metal, but where those songs regularly stretch past 10 mins, many tracks here are under 4. That they’ve managed to condense that euphoric release usually found at the end of a prolonged build-up into songs of more conventional length is impressive, and may well be Order of the Mind’s USP.
The band do wear their influences proudly, like on the chugging Creation. Comparisons to Gojira are undeniable when the song’s riffs are front and centre, and while that’s no bad thing, it slightly limits Irist’s ambitions on their first outing. They are mastering what it means to emulate what came before them, and with any luck this record is a blueprint more than an endpoint. Fans of the aforementioned bands, as well as the likes of Mastodon, will feel welcomed in by familiar intricacies and tight performances. What will keep them is Irist’s ability to pack that familiar punch into compact songs, and if they are able to build on the achievements found on Order of the Mind.
An impressively confident debut from Irist sees the band wear their influences proudly while managing to make the epic compact. It’s a fine blueprint for the future as they look to find their own voice and separate themselves from the pack.
Irist’s Order of the Mind is out now