Irepress, "Samus Octology"
With the recent surge of ambient post metal bands and their relative success, one of two things will happen to Irepress’s fantastic debut, Samus Octology: everyone and their grandmother will eat this shit up or it will get lost in the shuffle of releases by established acts. Regardless, these Bostonians have crafted a real gem of the genre; an album that hits on the genre’s hallmarks while pushing the sound in their own direction.
What immediately jumps out at the listener and sets Irepress apart from similar acts is their inventive and absolutely crushing rhythm section. Their performances are tight and technically proficient without getting overly complex, nimbly serving their purpose whether it be driving airy guitar squall or beefing up a chunky riff. Stylistically, they bounce around between abstract, fluidly jazzy runs and more driving, focused rhythms. Furthermore, the drums and bass were obviously made a priority in the recording and mixing because they both operate with warm, robust tones and are placed very audibly in the mix. Even though the guitars take somewhat of a backseat, they are far from a slouch. They take a non-linear approach to melodies, altering the riffs slightly to accommodate the rhythms, rarely repeating a part verbatim, which makes for some interesting twists. The above-mentioned soaring guitar squalls are very reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky, who often get randomly name-dropped, but are actually an accurate comparison in this case along with some moments that have a little Red Sparowes flavor. These parts are split pretty evenly with distortion-heavy, noisy walls of guitar and occasional bursts of chugging grooves.
With Samus Octology, Irepress manages to stay engaging throughout the disc without ever leaning to far towards abstract noodling or simplistic structures, striking a really great balance between cohesion and variance while incorporating a lot of influences and textures into a sound that is familiar, yet unique. What more could you ask for in a debut? Add Irepress to your shortlist of newbies to watch for.