Single review by Vince Leigh
‘Come with me it’s not a dream.’
Canberra-based metal band, Black Iris, formed in 2018 and dropped its debut track, Death Beckons, in 2022. Eviscerate is the sophomore track, and eviscerate it does! Albeit in not quite the way one would expect from the metal genre.
Well, not necessarily a contemporary representation of that genre, despite the splintered stylistic variances that now exist.
Black Iris fuses a curious combination of old school and tinges of relatively new metal, with the vocal being the main attribute which counts for such a thing as old school. It may also mean a more instantly recognisable approach that empowers the song and its effect with a greater degree of assuredness.
Whereas Death Beckons explored a more textured guitar-centred palette, Eviscerate harnesses a more formal structure to bring the band’s creative vision to life.
Kicking off with a chorus, we are led from segment to segment without a bump. The following verses are dissected by a recurring chomping guitar interlude that acts as a breather before each hit of the sly-yet-strangely-alluring menacing vocal.
‘Remove your heart so I can feel it beat’
But it is only menacing insofar as it’s playing up to the genre. Hearing such a voice feels refreshing in the way it alludes to more classic-sounding metal vocalists of the past. There is no attempt to entrap with more snarly, guttural, inflexions.
That said, the always enjoyable dramatics of the metal oeuvre, in general, are present here, but are executed in such a confident, conclusive manner it becomes one of the track’s main attractions.
Amid the typically strident metal hooks, the accents, the dynamics, and the candid energy, there are many lyric hooks also. The arrangement of the song is strengthened by lines such as ‘remove your heart so I can feel it beat’ and ‘come with me it’s not a dream.’
Indeed, Black Iris has invoked a kind of heavy metal slash rock dream, eschewing contemporary tropes save for occasional guitar garnishes to produce a more timeless and enchanted musical netherworld.