Saturday 4 May 2019

IRATA - Tower (Album Review)

Release date: May 24th 2019. Label: Small Stone Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Tower – Tracklisting

2.Waking Eye
4.Innocent Murmur
6.Crawl To Corners
7.Golden Tongue


Jon Case: bass guitar, vocals
Jason Ward: drums, vocals, synths, percussion
Cheryl Manner: guitar
Owen Burd: guitar, vocals, trumpet


Irata finally release their new album Tower after a four year absence. This time Irata feel influenced by bands such as Floor and Torche. As their music has a hard-rocking “Doom-Pop” sensibility whilst carrying on the sludge vibes from their debut album.

Opening song – Tower – is a fast-paced Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal song with elements of Psychedelic Rock giving Irata a heavier sound. The song is heavy and has a cool progressive sound from start to finish. The song also has a soft Drone based riff being played in the background. The vocals are excellent and have vastly improved from Sweet Loris.

Second song – Waking Eye – is where Irata go for the jugular by merging complex sludge/doom-pop melodies and gorgeous vocals to match. Maybe not as heavy as the opening song. However, Irata start to create a more expansive sound and the quieter moments are quite soulful in places. The Sludge/Stoner Metal guitars are quite ferocious in places but that doesn’t stop Irata switching to a more Ambient/Post-Rock driven sound towards the end of the song. This is one of the best songs on the album.

Irata don’t waste any time in playing the heavy Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs on the third track – Weightless. As they create a more progressive and complex musical environment with both the music and vocals. The lyrics are excellent and quite upbeat in places especially when the singalong choruses appear. Add a few impressive guitar solos along the way and Irata will impress you with the different styles of songs they’ve written for this album.

Fourth song – Innocent Murmur – is a strange song to initially listen to. As this song starts off as a soulful and melodic Pop based affair before this anthemic heavy sludge riff changes the musical landscape for the better. The song does move into Post Rock and Psych Rock territory and it’s good to see the band moving between Doom-Pop melodies and the move violent Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds.

I would love to do a song-by-song review but I will be here all day and I don’t want to spoil everything for the listener. The second half of the album is equally as good as the first half. If not better on certain songs such as: Leviathan, Crawl To Corners and Constellations.

Tower has a sweet natured innocence contained within it’s DNA and a dark violent side for when the heavy Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs appear. Irata prove both musically and creatively they have come a long way since their debut album as the band have made an almighty leap to greatness with Tower.

There’s no denying that Tower is a thrilling, complex and brilliant album from start to finish. Tower will rank as one of the year’s best albums. That’s how great it is.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Tower will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Small Stone Recordings from May 24th 2019.