Apr 2012 02

iVardensphere - APOKiVardensphere
Category: Industrial
Album: APOK
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: An album of nicely crafted songs that raises a lot of questions.


The third album from Edmonton, Canada’s iVardensphere, APOK shows the group’s continued efforts at expanding their horizons and exploring new sounds. Previous albums have shown iVardensphere’s propensity towards tribal world music overtones mixed with IDM and power noise, and with APOK these elements are still present, but unfortunately, as experimentation and collaboration take center stage, the album quickly spirals into a disjointed and segmented collection of seemingly unrelated music.

From the get go, the style hopping is rather pronounced as the tribal rhythm and epic scale of “Sutekh” leads into the sample abusing, beat heavy power noise track “Here Lies Lily Brant,” which is then followed by a return to more world music inspired work with the smooth and mellow rhythms of “Nazca,” which would have made a much more appropriate follow-up to “Sutekh.” From here, things get even more disjointed as the series of collaborations on APOK swing into full effect and iVardenshpere nonchalantly skips from one sound to another. The band admirably takes advantage of the skills of Caustic and I:Scintilla in their respective tracks, using Matt Finale’s blistering voice to up the intensity of “Myopic” and Brittany Bindrim adds a wispy and whimsical feel to “Cracked Earth,” but with “Acheron,” the collaboration parade turns sour as the work with God Module results in a bland and uninspired dance track. Further branching out in the genre department, there’s the smooth down-tempo work in “Chasing the Dragon,” glitch heavy, pseudo-experimental work in “Devils” and additional sample abuse in the heavy IDM track “Ghostnote.”

With this constant and unrestrained jumping of genres and styles, APOK leaves the listener with little more than questions. Who is iVardensphere? What is the iVardensphere sound? Where does iVardensphere go from here? What exactly was iVardensphere trying to achieve with this album? No matter how well the individual tracks tend to be crafted, the lack of focus quickly becomes distracting and annoying; compilation albums are frequently more cohesive than this jumbled amalgam of styles. There is a large difference between being genre defying and simply doing music in many different genres and unfortunately, if APOK is any indication, iVardenshpere doesn’t seem to realize the difference. It is admirable for the group to be attempting new directions and experimenting with their sound, but that doesn’t mean every experiment, regardless of the result, needs to be squeezed onto an album.
Track list:

  1. Sutekh
  2. Here Lies Lily Brant
  3. Nazca (feat. Servitor Sanctum)
  4. Myopic (feat. Caustic)
  5. Cracked Earth (feat. I:Scintilla)
  6. Acheron (feat. God Module)
  7. Of Ancient Reprise (feat. This Morn’ Omina)
  8. Chasing the Dragon
  9. Devils
  10. Ghostnote
  11. People of the Sun
  12. Cracked Earth (SKOLD Remix)
  13. Bloodwater (ESA Remix)
  14. Chasing the Dragon (Reconstructed by releveleR)
  15. Here Lies Lily Brant (iVs vs. Pull Out Kings)

iVardensphere Website http://ivardensphere.com
iVardensphere MySpace http://www.myspace.com/ivardensphere
iVardensphere Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ivardensphere
iVardensphere Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ivardensphere
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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