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Irae – Lurking In The Depths

Lurking In The Depths
by Aurora Kuczek at 07 July 2020, 2:51 PM

Hailing from Portugal come forth IRAE, a black metal band that is created by one individual. The project formed in 2002 and has released many productions that range from demos to split to compilation and to full length albums. With quite an impressive history of music, the band has now released their full length album entitled, “Lurking In The Depths” which was put out last month. The album combines ancestral movements of black metal with ethereal tones and rhythms. Comparing each track with one another, the tracks claim a certain idea that is rarely repurposed throughout the song. In fact, the variances are so vast that it was difficult to decipher the similarities of the band’s sound from one track to another if the project excluded the voice. Nevertheless, IRAE’s sounds are soothing yet jarring at similar moments, and makes the release an interesting one in this way.

The bells chime and the moon awakens. “Nightshade” formulates from a thin atmosphere. An echoed whisper guides the ghastly waters through unchartered territory. A slight whistling appears and the mood suddenly calms before the bass appears. The guitars string along to the beating of the drums that silence the beatific nature. A voice appears within this and is quite coarse, it fades into the background. Tremolo picking occurs and cymbals crash. This evolves further to a simplistic folksier melody of a synth-like instrument. The noises are quite typical for the genre, but the song adds elements of a quieter nature that are heightened by other instruments. The track ends similarly to how it started with a static of instruments that tremolo picks as the sounds hum. “Black Metal Violador” features a roar of sounds which burst into the darkened scenery the project began with, and embraces a tune that is slower paced but ancestrally driven. The guitars take word of the ideas and formulate these into an overpowering banister of adornments that light up parts of the air. The tune changes key and continues this pattern until a high pitched synth comes forth which fade into the guitars. The voice is a harsh screaming but this too is hidden. A bass takes a hold of the song before the track battles against its powerful rhythm.

As WINDIR-like energy arrives through the combination of this with the fast and higher pitched drums, this is all I begin to think about. A divergence occurs and forms into a dance of flute-like notes. A man takes the hand of a girl to guide her through a romantic field of majestic views and fathomable combinations. For once in her life, the girl notices the blend of hues in the wildflowers before her. “Ratazanasis” is a repetitive sense of a subgenre that is quite different and old-school than the previous ones. The same man takes the girl to a bar, and she is stunned by the scenery. The individuals there surround her, scurrying about as if they were mice. The guitars do not have a mind of their own, and keep this monotony throughout the beginning half of the song. The song shifts without much coherence. This resorts to the ideas set up at the start of the track, yet in a different format. The voice is muted. The synths hold their vibrant notes for a bit too long and the girl has to cover her ears. As the song changes its scheme once more, the girl gives in to herself and is thrown in the midst of the peoples with warmness to their foreheads.

A Blaze In The Mist” features chambered synths that draws forth a ghost land that is carried throughout. The guitars tremolo pick under this like a discussion in the celestial. Cymbals crash and the voice is much similar to the other tracks with little variation. Out from a mist, the notes are clearer and the guitars rise to the forefront, yet not in harmonization. The elements do shift slightly but not enough to lose oneself in its nature. The girl is swung into the home of the man’s parents. The couple take her small hand in theirs and shake their heads from side to side. She looks up at the man with lonesome eyes and he pats her back. He remembers the slight smile of his mother as they locked the doors behind them and left as if they had never put down their toes. “Between Ruins” is similar to the other tracks, but it is not as unique as it could have been. The drums beat ferociously, and a seemingly joyful guitar continues a melodic tone. The guitars are ungrammatically placed and are drained for far too long. Tremolo picking occurs and the drums follow, both creating a creepier mystique. Middle eastern type of drum and guitar notes are apparent towards the end of the track. “Encurralado” contains a DRUDKH-like beginning that opens this track with bass and drumlines following swiftly behind. As this continues, it evolves into entropy and unevenness. No matter how beatific it first rendered itself to be, the notes could have been perfected with one another. The track has an informality where its shifts in tones that seemingly get worse as times ticks on. A breakdown occurs with singular strumming of the guitars as the voice is still screaming in the swallowed waves. The man takes the girl to the forest at night and the two hike to the nearest hill where the moon hones in. The girl points to the brightened planets and the synths reappear once more. The man stands there with her and neither utter a sound, but are encompassed by the hushed phrases of the woods.

Calor, Fome E Doenças” is the shortest track from the album. It begins with two loud clashes followed by chaotic joints that are without cartilage smoothness. High pitched notes are echoed from this in a disordered fashion, and start to scale downwards making the listener feel quite uncomfortable. “Carved In Pit Stones,” the last track of the album, is seemingly a repetition from the last piece but morphed into a slower and darker materialization. Soft guitars morph into strongness. A high pitched synth weaves in and out of the ideas with the drums pattering by. The voice is still as harsh as it was. A breakdown leaves a guitar and awkward drum beats that shift the key and tone of the structure. It seems randomized and only when returning to the sounds at the start of the track, does the song have much more meaning. At dawn, the man finds the girl to be gone. When he walks out of the doors, he sees that she had left for the gardens. Saddened, but not giving up any hope, he decides to go to the countryside.

IRAE’s “Lurking In The Depths” is an exquisite composition of varying sounds and ideas wrapped in an eight track long album. There has been quite much thought put into this release, though parts of the album seemed to contain some small holes that weren’t properly attached to the same material. A bit disjointed at times, I felt as though, not only the differences from track to track, but the differences within each track were so vast it seemed a rush to get to the end of the song, and furthermore, ideas forgotten about. Despite this, IRAE managed to pull together at the end of the piece to remember the powerful nature it had began with.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Nightshade
2. Black Metal Violador
3. Ratazanas
4. A Blaze in the Mist
5. Between Ruins
6. Encurralado
7. Calor, Fome e Doenças
8. Carved in Pit Stones
Vulturius – All instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Signal Rex


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Edited 14 August 2020

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