Iterate – Ephemerals EP
Iterate sounds like a young band, which I guess they are. The energy in their compositions is palpable, and the sound isn’t evolved or focused, but more sprawling and diffuse. ‘Ephemerals’, their debut EP (they haven’t mentioned if they consider this as a full length, but considering it’s 3 tracks that clock roughly fifteen minutes, I assume it is safe to tag this as an EP) has a sound that is definitely
djent progressive/technical/groove metal. You can hear traces of Vildhjarta’s Masstaden, and TesseracT’s debut full length on here. The music isn’t badly written, it is in fact pretty tight; the compositions have atmospheric sections, some heavy biting riffs and melodies that manage to accentuate the non-melodic one note chug riffs, syncopation, bits of clever drumming (which would be fun to listen to live, but sounds a bit insipid on programmed drums). But there are several parts where one has the terrible feeling of having heard it all before.
The artwork is really well done, the drums are programmed (and not too well, the part at 3:07 sounds horrible, a live drum sound would work wonders for the overall sound), the bass is largely absent in the mix as is the norm for most artists in this particular style of music, since the guitar overpowers almost everything else at lower frequencies. The vocals are a good match for the music, though the clean vocals and some of the lower growls could’ve been better. The lyrics aren’t terribly clear. I would use ‘esoteric’, but that would be overdoing it – most of the lyrics seem like they have been thought of as metaphorical in some sense, just that the metaphors are going along some really weird tangents, though the context seems to be vaguely pertaining to some current social state, or maybe even an imagined one.
Considering this is their debut, I’d say Iterate haven’t disappointed, they definitely have promise if they choose to really explore and experiment within (or outside) this genre which has been saturated not just internationally, but nationally as well. Every kid with a Pod and a downtuned guitar is churning out syncopated riffs, and to set themselves apart from the thousands of bedroom projects operating at virtually no cost, a metal band serious about their music should definitely focus on carving out a place for itself within the so called ‘scene’ if they want their music to be commercially/critically successful. And yeah, don’t just take my word for all this, I’m a d-bag elitist. If you like modern progressive metal, check their music out at http://soundcloud.com/iteratetheband and buy the EP from flipkart in the link at the top left of the page, just below the album cover.