Idre – Unforgiving Landscapes (Review)

IdreIdre are a doom band from the US and this is their second album.

This is the follow up to 2014’s self titled debut, which was an impressive release that provided two tracks of heavily atmospheric and layered music.

Unforgiving Landscapes is a similar release; here we get another two tracks of equally atmospheric, layered music.

Containing 43 minutes of atmospheric drone/doom influenced by the likes of Earth and Neurosis, Idre’s latest release is the apotheosis of their dark art so far. These two sprawling tracks hold a wealth of sombre music that’s as well-crafted as anything in this style.

The music is glacially slow, proceeding in a relentless forward-direction and swamping everything in front of it. This is loud and heavy, but not in a conventionally distorted way. Indeed, much of the material on Unforgiving Landscapes lacks obvious, crunchy distortion, instead relying on emotive and atmospheric weight to crush and demolish. When the actual heavy distortion does appear with full force, as it does during the second track Prison Skin, it forces you to sit up and take notice with its colossal, monolithic presence.

Clean vocals seem to sail across the musical seas as if they are both separate from the underlying slow-burning maelstrom, while also seeming integral to it. Without the vocals the music would still be hugely impressive and involving, but with them, wielded as an additional instrumental layer as they are, the songs reach a higher transcendental level than they would otherwise be able to achieve.

Idre’s first release was extremely good. It was the sound of a band looking to play atmospheric doom in their own way. Unforgiving Landscapes improves on this early promise in every way, and this is an album that is as good as it gets when it comes to this kind of weighty, engaging doom.

Very highly recommended.

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