Slaving and working to serve the Hive…
It’s been some time since I listened to a truly progressive record. The last may have been Dream Theater’s Train Of Thought, but even that was mainly a metal album from an artist considered to be progressive metal. However, with its March 18 LP, Inward:Outward, Montreal’s Mire has created a truly captivating and unique landscape of musical ideas. Running the gamut of tenderly played piano passages to a wall of amplified guitar rhythms, I am surprised to find such a well-rounded effort as an artist’s first full-length release.
…the only way to feel alive…
Echoed beatings, bouncing off the walls of my inner ear, start the opening track as drummer Stephane Boileau puts the sticks to his kit without accompaniment. We’re quickly enveloped by guitars, storming onto the scene in stereo. No matter the diversity here, I soon made a mental note that this is a metal record at heart. Tracks like “Tyrannicide,” “Beast and the Machine” and “Open Circle” see Dave Massicotte and Bruno Chouinard ripping the songs wide open with a duel guitar attack. Colors of inspiration flash across portions of tracks, bringing to light hints of eclectic acts like Tool and Dredg. Vocalist J.P. Lachapelle carries notes through the air with care and fury in equal measure, making sure that his passion is not in question. Far from last, bassist Robbie O’Brien brings a weighty presence to these tunes, pushing the melody are strongly as he holds the pocket.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQnqLxFv5oM?rel=0]
…I’ve made up my mind, it’s finally time…
Years ago, Queensrÿche was bestowed the title of “thinking man’s metal,” a moniker that Mire seemingly holds in high regard. As one would expect then, this album, lyrically, is complex and not an easy one to follow. Even with a lyric sheet, I must admit that this one has gone over my head. The leading single, “Limitless (Pt 2),” for instance, goes into breaking free of a hive mindset and becoming a unique individual. The conquering of injustice and adversity, as well as internal reflection, are a few subjects touched on. However, I haven’t found a common thread, if there is one, to links all of the tracks together thematically. I don’t hold that against the band though, because musically it doesn’t detract from the sheer enjoyment I get from listening to this stunning work of art.
…when all is done, I stand as one of a kind.
Finding five young men creating such a well-rounded release as their first full-length album is rare, to say the least. Even rarer that it is a progressive album – one song is made entirely from harmonized humming (“Mantra Cymatic”) – which is not only well-played and well-arranged, but is just a FUN listen. With Inward:Outward, Mire has formed a soundscape that flows between mellow moods and mental turbulence, using the whole spectrum of sound as its playground. It is emotional, striking, and addictively wonderful. You would be doing yourself a disservice not to, at the very least, download the free tracks offered by this promising young group.
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