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WLM Reviews: Iris Divine – The Static and The Noise

October 3, 2017
By

Iris Divine blasted their way into my consciousness a couple of years ago with the phenomenal Karma Sown. Needless to say, expectations were high – extremely high – for The Static And The Noise.

I know that I sometimes place myself in a position to be disappointed when I consider a band’s history in what a new recording might sound like. Even if an album is just slightly less compelling than what I expect, it feels like a letdown. It’s my nature to do that though, and probably many of our readers’ as well. With all that, Iris Divine has released what will eventually be considered to be a step up from their previous. That album was lacking nothing, so The Static and The Noise proves to be an essential release for fans of the Prog-Power genre. Frankly I’ve been looking forward to it since seeing and speaking with the band over a year ago.

The trio of Navid Rashid, Brian Dobbs, and Kris Combs is as talented as any you’ll find, not only in the execution of their instruments, but more importantly in the songwriting arena. They know how to write songs that are at once heavy, catchy, melodic, complex, and compelling. Iris Divine is simply a fantastic band, one that exploits the individual talents of the members and gels their playing in an unparalleled sound. Rashid continues to be a stellar singer, sometimes reaching to a tenor, but mainly remaining in a mid-range full of energy and emotion.

While it was rather easy to choose a standout track on Karma Sown (The Everlasting Sea), I’ve found it to be quite a challenge with The Static and The Noise. That dilemma speaks to the consistent quality permeating the album. From the chaotic opening of Catalyst right through to the final strains of We All Dissolve, Iris Divine has crafted an incredible Prog-Power Metal album worthy of the accolades they are bound to get for it.

There is just moment after moment of entertaining musicianship and Metal sure to keep you coming back for more. The unmitigated heaviness and melodic chorus of Taking Back the Fall is as sing-alongable as anything you’ll hear. Iris Divine explores unconventional time signatures, as well as other “different” arrangements and musical concepts. I have to classify Fractures as intense. There is an underlying sense of urgency in the track so well balanced by the flowing ending. Like Glass is the most subdued song of the album, aside from the all too short complex instrumental section. The King’s X-like vocal harmonies of the title track certainly take me back a couple of decades.

From Rashid: We put our heart and soul into this album…it covers every aspect of our sound, and we tried to make sure that every musical decision, production nuance, and even the track sequencing, was focused on engaging the listener from the opening salvo to the last note.

Here’s Taking Back the Fall:

Although this review isn’t as in depth as other’s I’ve done, make no mistake – Iris Divine’s The Static and The Noise is as good an album as you’re going to hear this year. I’m picking up what they’re putting down. I’m buying what they’re selling – and you should too. Undoubtedly will appear on my end of year list, and likely on many others as well.



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