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Irata - "Vultures" (CD/EP)

Irata - "Vultures" CD/EP cover image

"Vultures" track listing:

1. Deluge
2. Keeper’s Maker
3. Miser
4. Old Smoker
5. Serpents

Reviewed by on December 25, 2012

"Irata exemplifies a Southern blend of blues and metal, with some old rock n’ roll praising-thrown in for good measure."

North Carolina’s Irata exemplifies a Southern blend of blues and metal, with some old rock n’ roll praising-thrown in for good measure. People who are listeners of any one of those genres, and many more, can likely find something to love in “Vultures.”

Immediately, Irata shows off its stuff in “Deluge:” Cheryl Hall plays groovy guitar and cranks up the fuzzy tone, but not so much as to go into overkill territory where the melody is unintelligible. She has great solos - they’re very 1960s and 70s psychedelic with a nearly Americana/ hard rock feel, but hardcore metal heads could definitely find merit to it. Think of a less Satanic Electric Wizard and more rock Soilent Green. The music is fun to get into and even danceable. While JJon Case has tough vocals, he does not growl, and this is an album that could have a mass appeal. “Keeper’s Maker” has a great medium-tempo that can be utilized for headbanging with your buddies or dancing with your lady.

“Miser” begins with a sad and dark guitar and even some piano notes as JJon sings clean, but sorrowfully. This definitely has a Black Sabbath feel to it, before suddenly a series of noise explosions change the mood to aggression. There are also some moments of instrument silence when JJon needs to emphasize the surely stated lyrics “I won’t be trampled on.” The song keeps a beat throughout that is very forceful and unforgiving.

“Old Smoker” also has a spooky guitar opening with the eventual addition of what sounds like beats from drumsticks on the metal rim or clapping. The long introduction creates great anticipation for whatever could be coming next. JJon sings above every other sound, and then a strong, commanding guitar plays a blues rhythm. Then it goes back to the music at the beginning of the song and repeats the cycle. Furthermore, “Serpents” definitely has an Electric Wizard sound too, but with that sweltering Southern summer malaise to it.

The only flaw with this album is that there are only five songs. I really wanted to hear more, but I’m sure there will be more music on the way eventually.

Highs: Fun, yet still heavy and dark.

Lows: I only wish it was a full-length album.

Bottom line: Fantastic album with metal, rock, and blues combined.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)