April 29, 2022

The sub-genres within rock music seem to be ever growing these days and now we come to another one, of which I was previously unaware, with Industrial-tribalism which sounds pretty strange but it does make a great deal of sense when you listen to the album. I have not previously heard of iVardensphere with the Canadian band forming around 2009 and Ragemaker is the band’s ninth record so the musicians have obviously found their niche and, more importantly, found a market for their somewhat diverse musical endeavours. Basically, iVardensphere is an electronic outfit built upon an industrial base and a plethora of tribal drum rhythms which gives the band a new and most attractive vibe. It’s not electro and neither is it hardcore but something altogether new and exciting.

For sure, the electronic nature of the music provides a lush and vibrant soundscape which gives the band and music a hugely cinematic feel and the darker under-rhythms gives the music a portentous edge that hints at the apocalyptic and listening to the album is almost like playing the soundtrack of some huge, blockbuster disaster or cataclysmic movie. The music is mainly a drifting and flowing instrumental score with the odd conventional vocal and lots of gorgeous and ethereal backing vocals that give the music something of an unearthly feel. The themes are haunting and complex with the layers of electronics creating sounds and textures that seep directly into your soul in a most unsettling way.

The musicians involved in this larger than life and most ambitious project are Scott Fox on electronics and drums, Jamie Blacker on vocals, electronics and drums, Jairus Khan on electronics, Chuck Murphy on drums and vocals and Daniel St-Pierre on drums. The band cleverly adds traditional percussion to the score including Taiko, Surdo, djembe and timpani alongside less esoteric percussive sounds created by the use of hammers and anvils and car doors being slammed which all builds up to create a madness of percussion but one that is strictly controlled so that the musicians always remain in control. The album finishes with a couple of vocal and spoken word tracks that all add to the gentle alien feel of the project but for all of its strangeness it remains a work of sheer beauty and true genius. Ragemaker is not for everyone, and it is a little like two paths leading into a dense, dark and dangerous forest with one path pointing to madness and the other to safety, but someone just may have switched the signposts around so enjoy the journey!

Ragemaker

  1. A Whimsical Requiem for the Fey (2:18)
  2. The Maw (2:50)
  3. Ragemaker (5:55)
  4. Varunastra (8:16)
  5. The Shattering Queen (7:05)
  6. Ritual Oblivion (2:46)
  7. Eastruun (4:50)
  8. Draconian (6:51)
  9. Orcus (3:23)
  10. The Age of Angels Is Over (4:45)
  11. Indomitus (5:06)
  12. Sisters of the Viper’s Womb (5:56)
  13. Helios (1:36)