Once you’ve heard dissonance you’ve heard it all, right? Well, not necessarily. Dissonance can become overused and overly repetitive and ultimately boring. However, Ghost Iris have variety within their sound which enhances their use of dissonance and gives them a distinctive edge in the metalcore genre. Apple Of Discord is the third album from the progressive metalcore quartet who are considered one of the leading bands of this genre from Denmark.

The vocals are a significant part of their sound – combining clean and harsh vocals adds extra texture to the sound. The Devil’s Plaything is a great example of this. The clean vocals soar and balance well with the dissonant guitar riffs and melodies that feature throughout the track. After The Sun Sets Pt. II features variations on the clean vocal style with a more expressive and aggressive texture coming through. Marrying with the harsh vocals it gives the track a fierce sound whilst maintaining the soaring qualities of the clean vocals. Ghost Iris are not the first to combine the two vocal styles but the tones of each are very complementary, both with each other and the instrumentation. The cleans really come into their own in Beauty In Expiration. The uplifting, soaring vocals takes the track, and the album, in a different direction and yet it remains cohesive. The contrast of bellowing growls in The Rat And The Snake is executed well. The harsh vocals, and the track in its entirety, reveals what Ghost Iris can do at the heavier end of the spectrum.

Along with their impressive vocals, Ghost Iris have produced an album with dramatic and theatrical instrumentation. The opening instrumental track, Apple Of Discord, creates an atmosphere which is dramatic and dynamic through their use of dissonance in the guitars and interesting drum rhythms. It draws the listener in with building anticipation for the following tracks on the album. The dissonance used is reminiscent of the style used by The Faceless on their latest album In Becoming A Ghost. The guitars are used effectively throughout the album with very technical aspects adding intricate details to Ghost Iris’ sound. Whilst vocals take centre stage in Beauty In Expiration, the guitars explore melodies in the background which adds depth rather than just taking a step back entirely. Other aspects to this album include the groovy rhythm styles. Once again using Beauty In Expiration as an example – in this track the rhythms introduce something different to the album. It brings more energy and movement. By diversifying their tracks, it prevents the album from becoming repetitive. As a progressive metalcore band, bass drops are to be expected. Ghost Iris, like with their use of dissonance, have refrained from over using this feature. As tempting as it is for some bands to have a bass drop every other bar, they can quickly become repetitive and lose their dramatic impact. Ghost Iris have avoided this trap.

The quartet bring together a wide range of talents from their own skill set and have produced a unique sound. Apple Of Discord incorporates technical elements with metalcore, alongside their fusion of textures and tones across all instruments and vocals. With such dramatic, atmospheric and dynamic tracks, Ghost Iris have proven their worth.  

9/10

For fans of: Periphery, Monuments, The Faceless
Words by Holly Royle

‘Apple Of Discord’ by Ghost Iris is released on 22nd February on Long Branch Records.

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