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Album Review: TBA

Monday, December 6, 2010

EP Review: Burn The Iris - Sovereign

One letter shy of being horribly accused of being Emerald Isle-bashing pyromaniacs, the crazily named Burn The Iris hail from the nether regions of the Netherlands and seem at pains to claim they draw great inspiration from their progressive metal neighbours, Germany's The Ocean and Sweden's Burst. Having recorded a promo back in 2007, it's certainly taken them a fair old while to construct three tracks worthy of release - possibly a sign of either a lethargic demeanour or an absolute dedication to producing nothing but quality.

Moving through the tracks, 'Holding Time' pounds along at a fearsome rate, firing out damaged licks and globs of roared, echoic hate until it reaches a gut-churning breakdown that sinks itself into a grim mire where it meets a sticky end. Changing tack, 'Old Son' is a sand-shifting storm of Isis-inspired battery and ubiquitously contrary acoustic guitar and guest vocal, courtesy of Tamara Clijsen. The real find here though is the 10-minute ‘(Sovereign) Ghost’ which straddles an incessantly subversive, richly macabre vein that punches above its weight, inhabiting a groove that will inevitably inspire windmills and headbanging alike. It's possibly a little too choppy to really cling onto the coat-tails of Opeth, and infinitely more opaque than their named influences.

It's probably the deep, echoic vocal and lamentable repetition of minor keys that mark out the distinct streak of black metal running down BTI's spine, but it's a strong feature that bears noting for all future releases. 'Sovereign' is a fine glimpse of the capabilities of an upcoming band but, if they continue to release at a rate of one track a year, I don't recommend holding your breath for a debut album anytime soon.

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