Karma Sown

SKU: SR3073
Label:
Sensory Records
Add to wishlist 

THIS NORTHERN VIRGINIA BASED BAND is a three-piece at heart, musically rooted in the raw energy and rhythmic interplay of RUSH and KING’S X. Fans of dark, guitar-driven rock bands from ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES to the contemporary metal riffing of LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA, will connect to the heavy core of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. Add to that progressive complexity and moody synths inspired by DREAM THEATER and PORCUPINE TREE, and a liberal dose of memorable hooks and melodies, to understand some elements of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. And yet, the band has a distinct identity, not quite sounding like any of the aforementioned bands, and with an emotional urgency that pulls subtly from alternative and other influences.

KARMA SOWN IS A TRIUMPH OF A DEBUT ALBUM, immediate and memorable but revealing layers and depth upon repeated listens.

"Progressive metal is in a rough period right now. The old guard are either releasing sub-standard albums that only make it more obvious how far they have fallen, or they are drastically uncool with anyone who didn't become a fan when progressive metal was first being created. Progressive today tends to mean djent, a style that has sapped all the life and humanity out of music, turning metal into a math equation of time signatures, and not songs that anyone can actually remember. There was a time when progressive metal remembered the ultimate goal of music; to have listeners enjoy the songs so much they would return to them again and again. Today, progressive metal is mostly the sort of music that could pass for muzak, if you don't turn the volume up too loud.

Iris Divine wants to change that. They set out with the mission of writing progressive metal that is intricate and challenging, but still produces the kind of songs that listeners who don't have an advanced degree can love and sing along to. It's a challenge, and it goes against the tide, but it's a desperately needed revolution if progressive metal is going to flourish anytime in the near future.

I knew from hearing the pre-release track “A Suicide Aware” that Iris Divide was special, and the full album reinforces the point. “The Everlasting Sea” comes out of the gates with plenty of tricky riffing and unusual rhythms, but they lead into big melodies with strong hooks and vocals. Their progressive playing isn't meant for show, it's a tool used to set a tone that juxtaposes with the more melodic moments. Finding the proper balance between these elements is not easy, and many a band have failed miserably trying to do so, but Iris Divine doesn't. On their debut record, they show a skill some bands have spent their entire careers failing to learn.

What I love most about the record is that it can be seen in many different lights. If you like straight-ahead metal, there is plenty of heavy riffing and pounding drumming here to keep you satisfied. If you like progressive music, these songs have twists and turns, and Rush-like keyboards, in enough quantity to match the djent crowd. And if you're a fan of old-school radio rock, the choruses in these songs will be music to your ears. Keeping all three of these in mind at the same time can be tricky, but it's worth the effort.

For being a trio, “Karma Sown” is a massive sounding record. The production is flawless, big and clear, without ever sounding too polished. The heavy parts are heavy, the vocals are up front, and you would never believe this was a self-produced record that was crowd-funded. I can put it up against many, many of the big label releases, and it would win the fight.

In fact, I can think of a dozen so-called progressive metal bands that should immediately hand over their label contracts to Iris Divine, because it's a crime that a band that is advancing progressive metal in the right direction doesn't have the backing of one of the labels. Not to name names, but this album would be bigger than half of the progressive metal released this year if it had the media push behind it.

In case you haven't noticed, what I'm saying is that “Karma Sown” is a fantastic debut, and the future of progressive metal. Iris Divine isn't a Dream Theater clone, and they're not djent. What they have done is integrate all the strains of progressive metal into a singular sound, one that could set the standard moving forward. If every band sounded this good, progressive metal wouldn't need to be underground. “Karma Sown” is the best progressive metal album of the year, bar none." - Bloody Good Horror

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Volume 6 in this amazing series is a 3CD set that covers the time period 1976 through 1979. Arthur Brown appears on the performance culled from a gig in Brussels in 1979. Awesome!
    $13.00
  • The classic first album from 1970. Maybe not their best but their fired the first shot with it. Great calling card.
    $9.00
  • Limited numbered edition of 3000, double LP set.This was an extremely well produced album that simply was a bit flat - not commercial enough for the general public and not prog enough for their fans. Parts of it are actually very Floyd-like and yeah there are moments that are pretty damn awesome but overall this is my least favorite of their catalogue.  Your mileage may vary.
    $20.00
  • SpiRitual is the brand-new ethno metal project of Stefan Hertrich, vocalist/songwriter for the long running German gothic metal band Darkseed, and sound track composer for PC games. Supported by international guest musicians, the 29 year old artist hits the road again to explore distant cultures and alternative ways of thinking, as he did in 1999 (Betray My Secrets) and 2004 (Shiva in Exile, awarded with the American Just Plain Folks Music Award in the category "best new age/world album 2004"). Combining distant melancholic aesthetics with hard metal elements, the first release entitled "Pulse" offers 8 epic ethno metal tracks. Brutal metal vocals and mercilessly down-tuned guitars are mixed with warm ethnic instruments and female vocals, creating a dynamic and energetic listening experience.In his role as a writer, Hertrich as usual sees the world critically, but instead of observing the outer grievances under social and political viewpoints, he dips directly into the listener to show him his worst enemy on his way to growth and self-realization: doubts and fears. The lyrics of "Pulse" don´t focus on hopelessness but motivate the listener/reader to recognize and establish positive character attributes slumbering in every human soul: courage, inner strength, sensibility, respect.In cooperation with the German author and scientist D. Ph. Christian Rätsch and the Russian video team Deviant Creations, a multimedia section was created, including a video clip as well as text material of the author and Stefan himself. Being a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Rätsch spent three years of fieldwork among the Lacandone Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, being the only European fluent in their language. His numerous fieldworks also have included research in Thailand, Bali, the Seychelles, and a long-term study (18 years) on shamanism in Nepal combined with expeditions to Korea and the Peruvian and Columbian Amazon. Atmospheric flutes and percussion insets were arranged by the Columbian Shaman Kajuyali Tsamani.Also appearing: female vocals by Gaby Koss (former Haggard, Germany) and Yana Veva (Theodor Bastard, Russia), drums by Maurizio Guolo (Darkseed, Germany) and guitar solos by the German artists Christian Bystron (Megaherz), René Berthiaume (Equilibrium) and Markus Glanz (Koyaanisqatsy).
    $5.00
  • "Finish symphonic metal titans, Nightwish, return with their new epic masterpiece Imaginaerum. The highly anticipated release is more than a new album but the inspiration and soundtrack to the upcoming full length fantasy movie, Imaginaerum. Special edition contains a 2CD set with the full length album as well as a Bonus CD with all instrumental tracks from the recording."
    $17.00
  • "There's nothing subtle about Infinita Symphonia and their approach to power metal; after all they are from Italy. Their sophomore effort, simply self-titled, finds the band stirring up more bombastic arrangements with big riffage to grand orchestral layers to large vocal arrangements.Yet within all this lavish wall of sound, Infinita Symphonia is still able to offer some good rock groove, as on If I Could Go Back, and elements of progressive power metal, as with The Last Breath, Limbo, the two longest pieces, but also Fly, by example. That latter song also features a guest vocal appearance by the talent Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic, et al).Yet, it's not always flash and spectacle. Following Fly is the instrumental piece, Interlude, which tones things down with more delicate play. This follows into the greater part of Waiting For a Day of Happiness, which puts Luca Micioni vocals at the fore. Of course, it eventually comes to a crescendo at the end. Alternatively, the anthem In Your Eyes, featuring a duet with Daniela Gualano, remains mostly smooth and steady. All this amounts to nearly 74 minutes of music, nothing subtle about that either. Infinita Symphonia returns with another fine album. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $6.00
  • Double live CD recorded on the 2010 US tour in support of The Incident.  The set includes a complete live performance of "The Incident" recorded in Chicago as well as additional material recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
    $9.00
  • "This is an interesting crossover in that this album is reflective of a storyline that runs in the lyricist's recently published allegorical fantasy novel, The Edge of the World. Based on two opposing religions that consider the same city as a holy element, they agree to sign a peace treaty. But, as strife will have it, this ends in the literal burnt ashes of the city as an all consuming fire destroys the city setting both religious sides against each other yet again. The author was drawn into a music rendition of his story and supplied all lyrics while a coterie of prominent Prog Rock and Symphonic Rock form to create a band to present this story. Most prominent is the music-writing for the Anderson/Moesta lyrics supplied by Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists. Vocally, the chores are shared between heavyweights like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Lana Lane (a remarkable Ann Wilson sound-alike with a powerful voice, who has sang for many bands, and who is married to Norlander), Michael Sadler (Saga), and John Payne (later period Asia). The vocalists take on characters and throughout the album sing the appropriate parts. Musically, this band known as Roswell Six, have created a fine Prog/Symphonic effort named Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. The clear influences are here. You'll hear Yes in the mix as well as the sounds of ELP, Kansas, Freedom Calls, and other usual suspects. The lean is toward symphonic rock with plenty of violin performed by David Ragsdale (Kansas), cello by Mike Alvarez, and flute by Martin Orford. The results are often grand. The works heard on Terra Incognita do the genre justice and are recommended for fans of such music. But when you bring such talents together, you're going to get great music. There are thirteen high-grade songs, two of them instumentals. The booklet is filled with enticing art, all lyrics, and a connecting storyline that brings the book and album together for those that want the full experience." - Matt Rowe/MusicTap.net
    $3.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • Now here's an album that kicks ass from start to finish. Easily going to be one of my favorite discs of the year. Venturia is a new French progressive metal band put together by guitarist Charly Sahona along with drummer Diego Rapacchietti. Charly found this incredible vocalist from New York named Marc Ferreira and paired him with Lydie Robin the band's female vocalist who primarily sings back up as well as the ocassional lead. Adagio's Kevin Codfert guests as the keyboardist. The New Kingdom is an impressive mix of phenomenal chops, infectious melodies and complexity. The closest comparison I can think of is Arabesque. A tune like "Words Of Silence" crushes but at the same time it's hook laden and will stay with you for days. Lydie Robin has a breathy gorgeous voice that works blends well with Ferreira. Venturia are to be applauded - they drew from a variety of different inspirations and put together something really fresh. Highest recommendation - I love this disc. Top 10 candidate.
    $14.00
  • "Standard DVD Edition. 2013 live release from the Tampa, Florida-based Heavy Metal outfit. Since Dystopia was released in October of 2011, Iced Earth has been on the attack in a big way, playing more shows in the past year than in the previous 10 years...combined! Early on in the World Tour the band decided that they wanted to capture this newfound energy and passion on film and tape. When the offer came in to film at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limassol, Cyprus, they were immediately attracted to that idea. The history and culture there, as well as the Cypriot audience, which the band experienced in December 2011, solidified the decision to record in Cyprus. Filming and recording a 2 1/2 hour show in an amphitheater that is 6000 years old and is not set-up for a Rock concert, paired with 40-degree Celsius heat, were just some of the obstacles to overcome. But the finished product makes up for any of the challenges that the band and crew faced on that special night."
    $14.00
  • Ltd. Deluxe edition including 2 DVDs containing a full live footage (filmed in Cologne), “Behind The Scenes” of the Kaldeidoscope World Tour 2014, band interviews and 3 further live tracks (filmed in Tilburg), 3 CDs containing the recording of the full Tilburg show and a BluRay disc containing the full cologne show and also the “Behind The Scenes”, band interviews and 3 songs of the Tilburg show.Track listing BluRay and DVD: Live in CologneInto The Blue (26:12)My New World (17:29)Shine (07:22)The Whirlwind Medley (29:34)Beyond The Sun (04:24)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Neal & Roine Duet (03:41)We All Need Some Light (05:56)Black As The Sky (08:43)Encore:)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (26:06)Track listing DVD: Bonus DVD1. Into the Kaleidoscope (A behind the scenes look at: Kaleidoscope World Tour 2014) (01:21:52)2. Band Interviews (22:31)3. Bonus Live Performances:3.1. Nights In White Satin (Live in Tilburg) (07:46)3.2. Sylvia (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (03:46)3.3. Hocus Pocus (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (07:53)Additional extras: Mike Portnoy vs Neal Morse in "Name That Beatles Tune"Track listing CD 1: Live in TilburgInto The Blue (27:49)My New World (18:28)Shine (07:23)Track listing CD 2: Live in TilburgThe Whirlwind Medley (30:12)Beyond The Sun (04:50)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Track listing CD 3: Live in TilburgNeal & Roine Duet (04:34)We All Need Some Light (06:05)Black As The Sky (07:22)Nights In White Satin (08:09)Sylvia (04:46)Hocus Pocus (07:09)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (24:34)
    $45.00
  • Second album from Greece's answer to Joe Stump. Mike Dimareli is a neoclassical shredder that can keep up with the best of 'em. No idea what the Artical thing means but apparently it's part of the group name. Luckily this isn't an instrumental album - Dimareli saw fit to enlist Phantom Lord vocalist Bill Aksiotis who acquits himself nicely. Firewind keyboardist Bob Katsionis is on board offering his fair share of pyrotechnics as well. I thought shred was dead but apparently not.
    $14.00
  • Second album from the Finnish offshoot of Burning Point. Ghost Machinery are now fronted by Taage Laiho who was formerly with Altaria. The music veers more towards traditional speedy Helloween-ish power metal but the band throws some curve balls at you. The tune "Blood From Stone" has lots of hooks and the keys give it an 80s pop-metal vibe. Another cool thing about the album - they actually do a cover of a Blackfoot tune - "Send Me An Angel". I bet Ricky Medlocke is ready to cash those royalty checks!
    $14.00