IRM – Closure

Ahhh, the sweet sound of corrupted metal and acid-degraded vocals.  It’s been awhile since we delved into dark industrial/noise, or post-industrial if you prefer, and if there’s any label to do it with, it’s Malignant Records.  We really wish we knew what ‘IRM’ stood for, and we’re not going to take a chance, because it’s highly unlikely it’s an acronym for “Institute of Rural Management”, though “Institute of Risk Management” might be a good guess.  We’ll leave that a mystery, perhaps they don’t want us to know, these aesthetes from Sweden.  Why such a term?  If you found some pictures of these guys live online you might wonder why, but it’s fitting, very fitting.  Fitting because it’s clear they present a vision.  Closure is one of the more artistic releases we’ve received in some time, there’s thought in it, a careful consideration of the ideas that go along with the music itself, in fact it’s quite difficult to separate them, as both are implicitly combined.  Too wordy?  Well let’s say it with a hyperlink and save you time from searching.  You can never, ever underestimate the thought involved in music created by anyone who would cover themselves in actual viscera in a live setting.


Really, really hope you clicked on that.  That’s your initiation, or your decision to leave our domain forever, for you are unwanted here.  If you’ve made it this far, do a quick reading of some of their work here at this forgotten blog.  Now then, before we delve into the music of Closure, it absolutely requires a consideration of its poetic and artistic presentation as a package.  The artwork is a beautifully degenerate utilization of light and dark, taking its cue, or at least reminding us, of shadow puppetry from the East.  What you see on the front cover is repeated in various images inside, contrasted with skeletal shadows and a suggestion of the ancient, and never redundant, theme of procreation vs dying.  And when you get to the lyrics, oh yes that’s the melody.  IRM headiness we dare say is a remnant of that forgotten movement known as Symbolism, and, if so, they’ve done a fine job of unearthing its beauty.


Now, in terms of how the music presents these ideas, it has one major problem.  Closure contains bizarrely distorted vocals for roughly half of the tracks, accompanied by pounding against metal, a simplistic approach that here works to the advantage of IRM where other bands would surely fail.  Behind the pounding, slaughterhouse sound is grating, bowel-churning noise, but gracefully layered over it like satin on a corpse, so it never overpowers the rest, which is primarily the goal of the vocals.  When the lyrics are defiled through effects IRM is frightening, the meaning behind their creations all the more ruinous to the mind.  But a few tracks are lengthy, spoken-word segments with more of a focus on poetic delivery as opposed to following an atmosphere created by the music, which verifies the lyrical themes further.  Simply put, whenever the vocals are acid-eaten, they sound beautifully awful, but clean it suddenly becomes more like a coffee shop open mic night you’d never want to witness, that is, however, unless you pay attention to what he’s saying and look through the lyrics.  This, then, completely changes the sensation, but it still creates the only problem.  Closure is an excellent release, in essence, but without a grasp of the artistic and poetic angles it presents, its presence is somewhat lost when the vocals lose their withered character.


IRM Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

IRM – Closure
Malignant Records
4 / 5