Album reviews: Myopic, Iris Divine, Dweller in the Valley

Recently, Derek and I attempted to record a podcast reviewing three albums. from regional bands The recording was done in a hurry and the gain was too high, so the sound is pretty bad. We sound completely adorable and not too drunk, but I won’t force you to suffer through listening to it because of the quality.  (If you really want to hear it, the link is here, but it will not be included on MixCloud podcast stream.) We did want you to at least be aware of some of our comments on these recordings. The drink of the evening was vodka and Taco Bell limeades.

Dweller in the Valley bones. Photo by Mary Spiro
Dweller in the Valley bones. Photo by Mary Spiro

The idea behind these this reviews is that we listen to the albums and give our immediate first impressions. Of course, we may go back and listen to these albums again in the future, but, in general, first impressions are the most important, so that’s what we are going with

Myopic – Beyond the Mirror’s Edge (Grimoire Records); three-piece from Takoma Park, MD. 

Listen here.

Derek’s comments:

  • “It started out kind of sludgey but they hit all kinds of things in four songs. Really seemed to be exploratory and all over the map …”
  • “Last song started out good but I don’t remember much about the rest of it, went in weird directions.”

Mary’s comments:

  • “Lot of hardcore and post rock/metal elements”
  • “Felt like the first song was kind of a weak start but liked the second track much better.”
  • “Hate it when I band starts a song with feedback…that’s becoming cliche to me.”
  • “Iron Towers was good. Backstitch had a lot of cool parts but seemed a little too long.”
  • “Last song had what we call a ‘circus breakdown’ but overall pretty good.”

We both liked the album overall and would like to see this band live.

Iris Divine -demo (self-released); three-piece from Centreville, VA. 

Listen here.

Derek’s comments:

  • “It’s not for me, because I didn’t like it.”
  • “It has a very nice production value.”
  • “It was very proggy, sing-songy, that kind of thing.”
  • “I lot of people will really like this recording, so I don’t really feel bad saying that I do not.”

Mary’s comments:

  • “I felt like it was Dream Theater worship.”
  • “There are people in the metal community that love this kind of stuff, but I find the vocals cloying…too sweet.”
  • “Give Iris Divine a shot, but it’s not our thing. Buy it or don’t.”

We have seen Iris Divine live at The Sidebar. While it is not our favorite genre of music, we recognize that this is a well recorded, well executed work.”

Dweller in the Valley- Breath of the Void (Black Mess/Grimoire Records); trio from Frederick, MD.

Listen here.

Derek’s comments:

  • “I liked it.”
  • ” I have no input other than I can’t wait to see them live.”

(Poor Derek, I realize I barely gave him a chance to talk about this band!)

Mary’s comments:

  • “I hear a little bit of hardcore influence but this is definitely black metal.”
  • ” I feel like this is a live band. Dane Olds is really angry when he sings. Maybe his is not an angry young man, but he just comes off that way and the music is incredibly aggressive…righteous indignation.”

I have seen this band live, but Derek has not. The goal is to get him out to see Dweller, where the drummer is also the vocalist.

Visit us again soon for more random record reviews.

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