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Iris: "Wrath"
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A word about Wrath as promised.

The interview was pretty accurate. My interpretation of it was not. Yes, there are more guitars in the front line, there is a definite dark twist to the music... But not markedly more so than on some tracks of Awakening. The primary feelings I'm getting are those of disappointment over failed relationships... Fear of the future... Longing... But the music still conveys a strong hopefulness. To quote "Delivered One" on the album: Now the violence of love is gone / in exchange for the hopeful ending.

The first track actually seemed distantly reminiscent of "Universe" by Wideband Network - a very similar album, only with somewhat less upbeatness. The track is at the same time quite like "Awakening", but clearly meant to show how "Wrath" is different with a touch of... well, aggression. The following three tracks, however, are like straight out of "Awakening" - and in my opinion easily the best tracks of the album, that even managed to give me that tingling sensation in my spine that you never quite expect, but once it happens you're in love forever. Reagan's ethereal singing is like made for the organic electronic textures of Andrew's synth programming - and the guitars used on these tracks are just a natural extension of Andrew's soundscapes and worked to perfection. Absolute bliss.

"Guide on raging stars" is a good track in itself, with potential, but fades in comparison to its three preceding tracks. It lacks clarity of vision, and the choice of beat did not work to the track's favour. "68" is a tough track to figure out, and feels a little out of place here. The bittersweet twists of "No one left to lose", however, are a sharp, ever so bitter lamentation that balance out the album and musically it manages to surprise you just when you thought that maybe you've heard it all before. "Hell's coming with me" is an energetic track but it somehow just blends into the album and you don't really notice it's there. A good listen, but not earthshattering. Immediately following comes "Intercede Light", which shows just what they should have done to it to make it better.

"Delivered One" has the same kind of sincerity and frailty as "When I'm Not Around" from Awakening - and both are tracks that completely stand out from their respective albums as far as style goes. This time around it's not quite as captivating as "When I'm Not Around", but still a great finish for the album, if slightly biblical. (Though it seems like every Iris album has at least one track where that feeling surfaces, Reagan Jones must be a christian).

Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is the purest and most beautiful post-synthpop album to come out so far this year. It needs a couple of listens to get into the less obvious tracks, and overall it can't exactly compare to "Awakening"... But there are a few tracks there that will leave a mark. And believe me when I say that you do not want to miss out on those tracks.


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