Double Review: Irreversible Mechanism and Ur Draugr

A few weeks ago I was hunting the internet for interesting new metal I overlooked. I ran across this list. After a quick listen and reading the descriptions, I thought Irreversible Mechanism’s Infinite Fields and Ur Draugr’s The Wretched Ascetic had potential.

The first thing that stands out on Irreversible Mechanism’s debut album is the subtle use of orchestra and other sounds like piano and organ. If you’ve been around awhile, you know I tend to hate “orchestral metal,” not on principle (which sounds pretty great), but because no one does it well. IM does a good job on this front.

These sounds add a nice texture to the album without detracting. They also go off on long melodic, purely instrumental tangents which keeps the pacing of the album bearable. Many tech death bands lose me with being too fast and in-your-face all the time.

The Faceless definitely jump to mind when I listen to this, but I think the drummer is the only crossover member from that group. There is no doubt this group is made of excellent musicians. They get as technical as the most technical, but what makes them stand out to me is how much variety they have. They aren’t just technical all the time.

I’m going to go ahead and say this is the best tech death album I’ve heard in at least a year, maybe two. This isn’t saying much, because I haven’t had tech death make my best of the year list in years. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this will make it either. It suffers from the same problem as most others: it is so forgettable. The riffs sound familiar and soloing is a lot of arpeggiating and scales. There’s not much to grab on to.

Overall, this is an enjoyable listen that attempts to bring some variety back to tech death. I’ll give it an 8.5/10. Here’s a sample:

Now for something that has nothing in common except being on the same list, Ur Draugr’s The Wretched Ascetic. I think what got me here was the combination in the description of “slow, creeping darkness” with “disgustingly heavy like Ulcerate.”

It’s true. This is quite hard to describe. There’s a lot of slow acoustic parts, but it also tends to build into loud distorted climaxes. It works best when you can follow the train of thought continuously from one point to another. Other parts don’t work as well.

I know the purpose is to have stark contrast when the acoustic thing suddenly changes to a blast of fury. It is kind of neat the first time it happens, but on successive listens, it loses its effectiveness. This experiment only clocks in at 20 minutes, so I’d say overall it is an interesting and worthy attempt. Too much of it just didn’t work for me to be of lasting value.

Here’s a sample:

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