Irk are first with four tracks totalling 13 minutes.
This is angular, Mathcore-style Noise Rock. The bass has a good, heavy presence and drives the music forwards. It maintains a constant, prime position throughout the recording.
The vocals are impassioned and kind of fall halfway between shouting and some form of demented pseudo-singing. It’s an acquired taste yet works well juxtaposed against the solidly-constructed, almost mechanistic music.
The band have the feel of a DIY punk band only with edgy grooves and a detached riffing style.
They remind me of a cross between Hawkeyes and Association Area with a bit of Sultans of Ping FC mixed in. It’s a good, jagged ride they take the listener on and it’s certainly a memorable one. I think the vocal style won’t be for everyone but if it works for you then there’s a lot to enjoy here.
After this it’s now down to Wren to play us out. They offer up 3 tracks totalling 16 minutes.
Theirs is a murkier, slower sound than Irk. Wren take the Post-Metal/Sludge template laid down by Neurosis/Isis/Cult of Luna and make their own mark on it with impassioned playing and heavy riffs.
Walls of heavy guitars mix with transcendent Post-Metal melodies and a Sludgy core. There’s a high level of emotional content to a band like this and it’s all powered along by the relentless heaviness of the guitars.
Shouted vocals make an appearance on the second song and seem to merge with the guitars, providing pointed highlights to the aural onslaught of the six-stringers.
These are very enjoyable songs and if you’re a fan of the heavy Post-Metal style then Wren deliver in spades.
This split is a little unusual when compared to a lot that get released as the bands involved are quite different from each other. It’s a recommended listen for sure though, featuring two bands that show a lot of promise for the future.
Favourite Track: An Approach by Wren. The best is saved for last. Driving, heavy riffs, emotive violence and reflective chaos. Class.