Album review: iVARDENSPHERE – Ragemaker


Metropolis Records [Release date 04.02.22]

Albums like this one are why, after nearly twenty years reviewing for GRTR!, my love of discovering and hearing new music shows no signs of waning. Not for everyone this one, as industrial-tribalist iVardenspehere weaves electronics with haunting vocals, textured orchestral pieces and percussive rhythms into a hypnotic and thoroughly enjoyable mix.

The theme of the album is one creating hymns to totemic gods of war & rebirth, and to unknown ancient goddesses of harvest & hunt, telling the tragic mythos of The Shattering Queen.

To create the soundscapes on here iVardenspehere used traditional percussion from all over the world including Taiko, Surdo, djembe and timpani. Further sounds were added from hammers and anvils, through to slamming doors, and many more weird and wonderful effects.

The vocals of Brittany Bindrim (I:Scintilla) fit perfectly onto the menacing ‘Varunastra’ – shades of Dead Can Dance meets ‘Mad Max’ on here. iVardenspehere brings in other guests from the industrial/electronica music fields including The Rain Within (who appears on the very eerie ‘Eastruun’) and Seeming.

The tribal drumming on ‘The Shattering Queen’ is simply breath-taking, showing that you can create heavy music without guitars!

The production on this album is excellent, Vangelis comes to mind in that it has a deep, rich sound and can appeal to listeners outside of the industrial & electronica genres.

‘Ragemaker’ is the soundtrack to a SF or near future film/TV series yet to be made, or a vampire movie. One that the listener can lose themselves in and imagine various future world(s). It is different but well worth the effort and listening experience, particularly if you enjoy Dead Can Dance or futuristic film soundtracks. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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