Refraction are an instrumental band from Dublin, Ireland that play a mix of heavy metal and post rock, and this is their self-titled debut release. With six tracks clocking it at just over 42 minutes, Refraction is filled with lengthy, dense, complex, and dark instrumental songs, displaying the ample skills of John Kelly, Colm O'Gorman, Shane Reilly, and Karl Leavey.
From the drawn out sludge and thunder of "Light Fades", to the more upbeat cruncher "Into Nothing", to the richly atmospheric but highly complex "Until We Reach", there's a little bit of everthing here. The band goes more for textures and colors rather than solo spots, as the layers of guitar chords & legato lines permeate the landscape while plodding bass and drums keep everything in line. A head on collision of Neurosis and Cynic? That's not too far off actually. "The Final Shadow" digs in deep, a crushing song that also contains plenty of melody throughout its mix of faster and doomy parts. You can almost hear some black metal styled riffing on "Mortal", and "Diaspore" contains weaving guitar patterns that mind remind some of early Mastodon.
There's certainly plenty of promise to be heard on Refraction's debut, but after listening to this CD a few times, you start to wonder just what they would sound like with vocals. A few of these songs just scream for some brooding growls or wails to break up the monotony. By no means is Refraction a bad album-on the contrary, it's quite solid, but you have to wonder just how far they can go with this style. Many of the tracks here follow a similar pattern after multiple listens, and though the CD features some stellar musicianship I'm left thinking that adding a vocalist would do them wonders. Either way, if you like dark, dense, instrumental metal/post rock, you'd be well advised to check this one out.
1) Light Fades
2) Into Nothing
3) Until We Reach
4) The Final Shadow