Thursday 26 March 2015

Review: iVardensphere – 'Fable'


iVardensphere are one of those acts that seem to just get better with every release. Their last full-length studio outing, 2013's 'The Methuselah Tree', was a high-watermark for their tribal infused rhythmic industrial formula. The band proved they could be experimental, cinematic and club friendly all in the same breath and set the bar high for this year's follow-up 'Fable'.

It is immediately obvious though from the stunning opening of 'Million Year Echo' that the band are continuing to push themselves. This one track on its own encompasses everything to love about iVardensphere with it's noisy intro, apocalyptic samples, deep bass, hard but danceable beats and sheer ferocity setting the pace for the rest of the album.

Tracks such as 'Stygian', 'A Tale Of Two Wolves', 'It Is As Blackness Is', And 'Yesterday's Giant' give the album a dark footing with their groovy and rhythmic dance leanings and industrial hardness. While the likes of 'The Woodsman And The Serpent', 'Papa Legba', and 'Terra Sapian' preserve the tribal / world music influenced side of the band's formula creating some more accessible club appeal.

The album is completed by a series of tracks featuring female guest vocalists that add a nice counterpoint to the masculine overtones of the rest of the album with 'Tribes Of Moth' featuring Mari Kattman and 'Disir' featuring Nymm in particular really making an impact on the course of the record. 'Tribes Of Moth' is a great trippy, rhythmic blend of experimentation and pure melody. While 'Disir' layers up acapella vocals to create a tapestry of light and almost mediaeval chorus.

Once again it is evident that the band are pushing themselves harder than ever. The scope of the song writing continues to grow and the production is always able to match it. The band's global rhythms are reflected in a cinematic style of production that even with such heavily layered tracks they sound beautiful and expansive.

The lessons the band learned in creating 'The Methuselah Tree' have been built upon. They've not rested on their laurels and have written an absolute stunner of an album that in its diversity still remains cohesive and focussed. If their previous album was a game changer for the band, then 'Fable' should cement their spot as one of the most interesting and unique bands at the top of the industrial pile.

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