'The Methuselah Tree'
In just a few short years, Canada's iVardensphere has proven to be one of the most ambitious projects in the modern industrial scene. A myriad of styles blended together into something truly unique that continues to evolve on every release. Tribal rhythms, goa, industrial, world music, trip-hop, ebm and power noise are mutated and reformed into stunning dance-orientated odysseys.
The latest album, 'The Methuselah Tree', is once again primarily geared around the experimental and immersible instrumentals which consistently stand out. But it also continues the ongoing collaborations and partnerships which have led to the band's presence to grow.
The album begins with a string of exquisite, rhythmically enticing slices of evocative dance courtesy of 'Mother Of Crows', 'Bloodline', 'The Doorway', and 'A Black Sun On The Horizon (Invocation)'. Each of which display both variety and confident refinement. The fifth track on the album, 'Break The Sky' is the first song to focus on lyrics as well. Vocalised by Aesthetic Perfection's Daniel Graves, it's not a typical dance floor cut. But rather something edgier and far more involved with it's slow melodic build into hard, noisey beats.
The likes of 'Snakecharmer', 'Observing Bartok (Stamping Dance)', 'Eclipse' and 'Narada' continue the epic instrumental global trip with middle eastern-tinged melodies and hard industrial beats. While 'The Impossible Box' featuring vocals from Jamie Blacker, 'Society Of Dogs' featuring Tom Shear and Mari Kattman, and 'The Methuselah Tree' (again featuring vocals from Jamie Blacker) give the album it's more accessible side for casual listeners with their shorter and more direct styles.
'The Methuselah Tree' maintains a balance in favour of the band's globe-trotting epics, but as with 'APOK' before it, gives ample room to collaborative efforts that will certainly bring them to a wider audience. The production here is first class and once again the attention to even the most minute details in the heavily layered songs herald the collective skills of the band as musicians and song writers.
The album is a testament to the band's unwavering vision, as well as their current standing amongst their peers. 'APOK' may have been somewhat disjointed in it's final construction, but the band have learned their lessons and created a more well-rounded and cohesive album rather than a collection of tracks. The experimental edge of their sound is now at its most sharp and focussed. This could be a real game changer for iVardensphere.