If Refraction’s self titled debut is anything to go by, then 2011 is going to be one helluva year for Irish metal! The lads have really created a great, atmospheric instrumental album that brings the listener on a ride that at times is picturesque and tranquil and is kept interesting with moments of rising, sheer epicness.
“Refraction” is the lads debut release since they started jamming (in their current form) in 2007 (even-though they did try their hands at a demo but were unsatisfied with the results) and it looks like all the practice really has paid off. “Refraction” is an album that needs to be listened from start to finish as all of the 6 tracks (averaging at around 6/7 minutes a track) flow seemlessly into each other. As mentioned earlier, each song takes the listener on a journey and the songs never bore as each tracks shifts momentum and emotion. It felt like I was listening to a movie soundtrack.
I have recently been on a bit of an “the Ocean” binge at the moment, with Anthropcentric and Heliocentric listened to daily, and this album reminded me alot of a less aggressive, instrumental version of those albums.
I loved everything about the guitar on this album. The tone was distinctive and clear, with each note perfectly audible. I also loved how the guitar lines worked almost as vocals, carrying each song from passage to passage and narrating the whole album. the drumming too was immense, eventhough at times the double kicked seemed to go off time when sustained for too long. It was also cool to be able to hear the bass and notice how it added to the songs. A great production job done by the lads at Data Studios (Which is building quite the name for itself, having been the home of I’ll Eat Your Face’s “Irritant” and Altar of Plagues).
My personal favorite songs on the album are the middle tracks “Into Nothing”, which has a killer outro, and “Light Fades”, but each and every track on this album is full of quality and worth a listen.
The only thing that I could complain about is that I found all of the song structures almost too similar and hope the guys will try and mix it up a little more on the follow up album, even maybe delving into more aggressive or darker territories to give the songs a dufferent dynamic. Theres a few hints to suggest that they are delving into darker sounds and this is something I could really see working for the guys.
With bands such as Wound Upon Wound, I’ll Eat Your Face and now Refraction releasing quality albums, the future is looking bright as the sun for Irish metal. “Refraction” is a great album that sets the standard high for all other releases,(all over the world, not just in Ireland), extremely high.
Refraction will be playing a launch gig for the album on the 4th of March in metal watering hole Fibber Magees and I strongly suggest you guys go and check it out and pick up a copy of the album while your there.