Iress - Flaw review


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Band: Iress
Album: Flaw
Release date: September 2020

01. Shamed
02. Nest
03. Underneath
04. Dark Love
05. Shallow
06. Thieves
07. Wolves
08. Hand Tremor

Let's end this shitty year on a high note, shall we?

I don't know if anyone noticed but this year either had kind of a shift of the metalgaze sound from the Alcest/Deafheaven copycats to something more of an alternative doomgaze sound, that also sits somewhat on the border of metal, but lacking the harsh vocals of its other metalgaze counterpart, it relies on the sheer heaviness of the shoegaze wall of sound to warrant inclusion in the metal sphere. And even that is really debatable. So either that or we just started noticing it. We got a new Hum record, Mountaineers threaded the line between post and gaze, Fluisteraars found a new way to inject gaze to make the warmest black metal, Loathe sound a lot like Deftones, who in turn released a new record, even the new Nothing was pretty heavy at times. But it all crashed the gate when I reviewed Shedfromthebody and I got recommended a bunch of similar stuff, from BleakHeart to Iress.

I'm still not sure if Iress' Flaw can really count as a metal album, even though we here at Metal Storm are more inclusive of stuff that is heavy enough, especially since listening to their debut album and only other record so far, Prey, it gave me the impression of a very heavy alt rock album, but an alt rock album nonetheless. Flaw has a much better shot at being called a metal album, partly due to the lack of the characteristic 90s-isms of Prey, but also because the doomgaze sound often borders on doom metal and post-metal, even though only barely enough to be called that. And even the shoegaze parts don't feel as gazey as much as they are folky and ethereal. So it sounds less like a 90s shoegaze record and more like a mid 2000s Chelsea Wolfe one.

Which is all fine and dandy, since we love Chelsea Wolfe, and it's also distinct enough from the sound to not be a mere copycat, even if the inspiration or common influence is obvious. Even though they're both dark and bleak, often slow and brooding, Flaw lives more comfortably in that brooding space without the need for gigantic choruses ("Wolves" need not apply) and industrial landscapes. This doesn't make the record much less interesting, since Iress know how to play with the tension that said brooding space creates, and though vocalist Michelle Malley may not have the most powerful voice out there, her distinct timbre makes Flaw quite emotionally resonating. In the barely-over-half-an-hour runtime of the record, Iress take that bleak mix of doom, gloom, post-metal, gaze and indie rock, turn it on all its sides, and manage to present the one that is most comforting.

Maybe I'm wrong and Flaw and its other similar sounding records this year aren't indicative of any massive metalgaze shift, since it's not like the usual metalgaze sound has gone anywhere, but I damn sure want to hear more stuff like this in the future, especially from Iress.


Written on 30.12.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 79 users
30.12.2020 - 09:25
I, for one, prefer this alt/doomgaze/dark folk sound a lot more compared to blackgaze. Great atmosphere on this one.
30.12.2020 - 10:08
Written by nikarg on 30.12.2020 at 09:25

I, for one, prefer this alt/doomgaze/dark folk sound a lot more compared to blackgaze. Great atmosphere on this one.

There are few things that can compare to listening to this for the first time, but generally I'm more excited for a new doomgaze than a blackgaze record.
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

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