Wednesday, May 30, 2012

HEAVY FRIENDS: Miroist - The Pledge

As much of a metal fan as I am, I have a good deal of reservations when it comes to instrumental metal, especially when it comes of the progressive variety. To me way too much of it just comes off as an exercise of technique and skill rather than true craft; really what I like to call "wankery". I much prefer bands like Russian Circles, who aren't "progressive" in that they aren't flashy about technicality, but the way they create vast soundscapes and a gargantuan sound while relying on dynamics more than technicality brings out a force that's far more emotional, to me, than a lot of bands that choose to be "progressive".

But it's not like you can't be technical and emotional and dynamic. One of my absolute favorite instrumental metal projects is Cloudkicker, which is a one-man DIY project out of Columbus, Ohio. Recently on his tumblr he plugged an instrumental progressive metal project called Miroist, who as recently as last month released their debut EP entitled The Pledge.

Like Ben Sharp (the mastermind behind Cloudkicker) said in his post, the EP reminds me of his project's output around 2008, but even more heavy and "chaotic" than that, to use his words. While I wouldn't call it chaotic music, as what's going on here seems pretty damn tight, I will say that I like what I'm hearing. I was initially turned off by the opening riff on the opening track "i ; Non decipies me, fortuna" because it reminded me of the recent wave of "djent" bands that some consider to be a big movement, but I consider it to be nothing more than mindless Meshuggah worship. But it doesn't take long for the track to start going through some hills and valleys. This band even lists post-rock as an influence, which definitely contributes to the dynamics of these songs. I feel like if a band hits on the same riff endlessly with no variation (like all too many of these Meshuggah-copycat bands love to do) the music grows stale and quickly. Not so with this music.

The first track is nice, but the EP really gets going with the remaining two tracks, which are longer, and to me produce an "epic" vibe that not many EPs achieve. For a project that's just starting out, I see bright things in the future for these guys if they continue down this road of being more ambitious than the average band of their style. Stream the EP below via their Bandcamp page.

(It feels like Robby's the metal contributor for YPOIW. Well, if you're interested in the genre, be sure to visit his YouTube page for some metal-related reviews)

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