Iris Divine is another one of those bands that I’d heard of and been meaning to check out, but just never got a chance to do so. That’s one of the reasons I am still doing reviews! And after hearing their latest album “The Static and the Noise,” I am really glad I got a chance to hear this band. “The Static and the Noise” is one of those albums that plays like a band’s greatest hits album.
The album starts out with a killer one-two punch with “Catalyst” and “Taking Back the Fall.” Both songs have incredible hooks, tight musicianship and great vocals. This is how you start an album! When you have to listen to albums to see if you’ll review them, it’s great when a song like “Catalyst” jumps out and punches you in the face. This is the kind of modern prog metal that has you driving faster in your car than you realize.
And Iris Divine never take their collective “foot” off the gas. The band seem to have an endless supply of wicked riffs. “Echoes/Effigies” has a driving riff and a sweeping chorus that work so well together. “Fractures” might be the heaviest and tightest track on the album. EXCELLENT bass work on this one by Brian Dobbs. The title track is next and it has a relentless verse with yet another powerful chorus.
“Like Glass” is a GREAT change of pace track that comes at exactly the right moment. It’s more mid tempo and has one really apeshit-prog section in it for those who need something that usually is reserved for Dream Theater. Iris Divine really don’t sound like DT though but I can hear a bit of an influence. Vocally, Navid Rashid sounds more like the guys from Heaven’s Cry, especially since Rashid harmonizes with himself a lot through out the whole album (love that) which is very much like what Heaven’s Cry does. I also hear some Byzantine in their more groove metal moments, I love that too.
“The Acolyte” showcases the band’s playing along with their songwriting talents. Drummer Kris Combs deserves mention too since as I always say, a band is only as good as their drummer, and Combs kicks ass. “We All Dissolve” is the moody closer and it’s yet another great vocal from Rashid, who by the way is a great guitarist too. My only criticism is the use of samples on the track. As most people know, I am not keen on hearing people talking over music and while the sample is fine at the start of the track, I wish that was all there was of it. I just prefer not to have the distraction.
“The Static and the Noise” is one of those albums that as you hear each track, you find yourself saying “oh wow another great song!” And that’s important here. Iris Divine can definitely play BUT the song is clearly the most important thing here. Too many prog bands are worried more about the cool things that they can do rather than making a song memorable to the listener. The song is what matters to Iris Divine and because of that,”The Static and the Noise” is one of the best albums of 2017.
2. Taking Back The Fall
3. Echoes/ Effigies
5. The Static And The Noise
6. Like Glass
7. The Acolyte
8. We All Dissolve
To order this album: irisdivine.bigcartel.com/product/the-static-and-the-noise-cd-pre-order