I'm gonna get this out of the way early. I don't listen to much Neurosis. I haven't even heard Through Silver in Blood for heaven's sake. I know, I know.) That alone should preclude me from reviewing ANYTHING, especially the debut self-titled from Oklahoma City's Idre. The Neurosis influence is thick and leans on the Americana side of that sphere which is in fact the side of Neurosis I have trouble grasping. Across Tundras delving further into that too made me shy away from them. But that's not to say I wasn't going to give Idre the benefit of the doubt.
Idre is steeped in forlorn, dustbowl melodies and slow, plodding movements making for the type of album that requires a certain mood to be fully appreciated. At the same time, Idre is all about creating mood. They do so by shifting volumes, instrumentation and pace over decidedly long songs.
“Factorie”, the first of two tracks clocks in around 26 minutes. A simple crashing thump slowly builds into a flow to open the track. It morphs into a desert landscape of sorrow, loneliness and regret. It's painfully plodding cadence is that of a man mentally agonized to put one foot in front of the other yet undeniably compelled to do so knowing what fate lies at the end of the road. Depressing vocals narrate with a Steve Von Till/Johnny Cash resignation until the sun sets around the halfway mark. Tension mounts as darkness surrounds lo-fi guitars buried under mountains of distortion. An extended instrumental section hypnotizes the listener as the molasses-thick rhythms meander through the plains searching for a peace that cannot be found.
“Witch Trial” comes in at half the time as its predecessor but is no less circuitous or sorrowful. A militant snare marches on through the track's opening movements. It's a more menacing tone but still slow, despairing and hypnotic. Loud/quiet dynamics and varying degrees of urgency and force soundtrack melancholy and sadness. Near the track's conclusion the heavy rolls in like thunder clouds. The fuzz level reaches doom proportions and a heavy drone sets in ensuring burial, not ascendance.
Idre is very chill but like rays of sun peaking between broken clouds, moments of more fevered blood find their place. The slow and hypnotic nature settles the listener into a trance. The patient listener is rewarded by the syrupy dynamics and myriad subtleties that continue to manifest over multiple listens. Idre's vision is clear and well executed. While I enjoyed the louder/faster sections more, I was surprised by how much Idre grew on me. It's apparent that this band could go in a number of directions on future releases and succeed. Or simply soldier on through the haze.
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