Photo: Earsplit PR

Eclectic Metal’s Irata Prepare to Issue Latest Set, ‘Tower’ (album stream)

North Carolina quartet Irata owes as much to the classic era of grunge as it does to cannabis-infused sounds of contemporary stoner rock. Tower never offers up a dull moment.

Irata will issue their latest LP, Tower, 24 May via the Small Stone imprint. The album, continues to display the quartet‘s dizzying waft of scuzz while maintaining musical elements that also appeal to the great washed masses who grew up listening to math rock, pre-grunge indie rock and Black Sabbath.

With the whack attack of guitarists Cheryl Manner and Owen Burd (he adds vocals and trumpet too)providing a spacey, frequently psychedelic foundation, bassist Jon Case and Jason Ward (drums) don’t necessarily take on the traditional role of a metal rhythm section. There may be some caveman rhythms but most often the pair weave in and around the vocal lines, creating a sonic frenzy that is best exemplified on “Waking Eye”.

Meanwhile, “Weightless” reminds us of early Soundgarden’s penchant for creating jazzlike ragas that were frequently hypnotic and sometimes hallucinatory. Coupled with a Jane’s Addiction-style vocal chant and for a moment you’re back in your brother’s college apartment, wondering how much Nag Champa could Nag if a Champa could Nag Champa. “Innocent Murmur” is a voyage into progressive rock replete with some of the record’s most interesting lead guitar work, the predictably great “Leviathan” (How could it not rip with that title?) and the final, epic “Constellations” are three stops on an exhilarating journey that keeps the listener guessing and bobbing their heads in constant approval.

With not a hint of hyperbole, it’s easy to say that there is no band practicing the heavy arts that’s quite like Irata. There are synthesizer and trumpet in this band, for crying out loud and none of it is a gimmick.


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