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Irata: Irata Irata
CD Album 2010 | Silber 087
10 tracks, 53 minutes (plus video for "Eye of Ra" in digital download)
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~142 megs))
Guitars, drums, bass, & saxophone form this instrumental group from Greensboro, NC. We're happy to make this debut available to the masses while they're working on their new album. Includes video for their song "Eye of Ra."

: Press release
: Listen to the track Drunken Dwarf

Track Listing:
Infinite Eight, Slide, Clown Rehab, Pilgrim, Baby's Breath, Lemeloing, Drunken Dwarf, Eye of Ra, The Myer, Angel's  Share

This is definitely one of the most creative heavy progressive-instumental albums thus far in 2008. Irata possesses more than the typical technical riffs, distortion and melodic lines. It experiments with a mix of under-and over-tone bridges incorporatin a perfect industrial flow in and out of a formula that says, "We aren't sticking to a formula.
~ Heather Mac, Yes! Weekly

Irata's self titled debut serves as proof that a band can do just fine without a singer. As Irata is all instrumentals, the songs are so overly complete that it's easy to forget that there are no vocals. It moves along with enough character and bravado that nearly a third of the way in you realize no one's singing. And that's just fantastic.
Irata is comprised of fuzzy guitar harmony that climbs and falls to create not only ambiance but an emotional vibe that lands between melancholy and electric funk. Opening track 'Infinite Eight' easily moves into 'Slide' which sounds like a hybrid of A Perfect Circle and Semisonic. 'Clown Rehab' is especially sonic, coming on with wave after wave of reverb and breakdowns. The noodling guitar of 'Pilgrim' sounds like steel rolling around, about to break, and the thick slide guitar is barbaric and angelic simultaneously. 'Baby's Breath' mixes heavy riffs with Indian flavors to create heavy handed world music while 'Eye of Ra' fuses an Asian thread throughout the track along with a Dick Dale styled guitar riff.
The trio hails from Greensboro, NC and utilize a Moog and a saxophone hooked up to a guitar amplifier as well as a variety of percussion. Part experimentation and loosely devoid of structure, each song is its own world. The melodies drone and caress one another to craft a plentiful musical landscape. While much of the album is a variation on a musical theme, Irata is a work that explores infinitely outside the box of what music can be, yet, is typically not done.
~ Brian Tucker, Bootleg Magazine

Instrumental post rock/hardcore with a stoned doom rock edge, these dudes know how to lay out some heavy groove without being stale.  I mean these guys have a wah-wah-FX sax for grud's sake! They have been described as prog....  The genres blurrrr....
~ Blotter - The Bad Acid Podcast

Part post-rock, part prog, part psych, part art-rock/metal, but mostly ass-kicking rock, Irata is completely … Irata. Thunderous and at times pummeling, Irata blasts out of the gate with Infinite Eight, both setting and defining the stage for what’s to come. And what comes is a nut-busting burst of sonics that is as strong as the whole record is consistent. Each track stands on it’s own, but there’s a cohesiveness through the whole platter that seals the deal, made especially evident in the side-by-side Eye of Ra and The Myer. Impressive for a band that isn’t adhering to usual ‘song’ structure. Irata is progressive in the sense that they don’t go for the obvious throat when they set you up: they take it someplace else. Check Eye of Ra and how it morphs into an almost Mermen-esque exotic surf feel or the scorching closer Angel’s Share that kicks off with a Hawkwind worthy riff but quickly grows into something else altogether with a fantastically emotional coda. Each track, in its own right, bobs and weaves taking a different tack than what is expected, or usually delivered.
Irata is big, existing in a great soundscape that is both distorted and crisp. Incredibly agile, they move through each track, fast or slow, with great ease, delivering equal amounts atmosphere and scorch. Stellar sounding guitar crunch, drums that do more than keep time, some keys, saxophone and a belching bass worthy of Lemmy {Drunken Dwarf} all make an instrumental, and intelligent, rock record that charts its own course. Highly recommended.
~ Mr. Atavist

A monster of a record from Irata. Coming on exotically mournful and wounded one minute and burgeoning into a raging Leviathan the next, Irata blisters and burns through a set that, not to be flippant, grabs post-rock by the throat with one hand and shoves the ‘rock’ back in with the other. There’s a raggedy, fraught tension through Irata that sets it apart from other post-rockers who can’t break free of an overly stringent, rigorous approach.
~ Mr. Atavist

Here on their debut album, Greensboro, NC rockers Irata have made themselves strong contenders for the best progressive rock band in the state. Between members Jason Ward, Jason Duff and Jon Case , the swirling, driving guitars and intricate, pounding drums build epically progressing instrumental gems that call to mind everyone from legends like King Crimson and Tool to bands like Explosions in the Sky, Graboids and the like.
From the opening track "Infinite Eight," the album is an incredibly solid entry into the prog-metal fold. The amount of noise that comes from this three piece, from their devastating live shows to the entirety of this album is amazing. The pure amount of layers on songs like "Baby's Breath" is enough to allow the listener to pick up new notes each time through.
In the same vein as fellow instrumental badasses Graboids and Ahleuchatistas, who have both passed through the NC bar scene regularly the past few years, they have a bit of fun with the song titles. Irata's debut features titles like "Clown Rehab" and "Drunken Dwarf" leading one to ponder their meanings just a bit as the rock begins to melt their face. Catch these guys all over NC in '08. Cause this album gets 41/2 jesters.
~ Matt Davis, Village Idiot

There are times when I realise just how lucky I am doing this. Over the years of doing this website I have been sent an awful lot of music, some good, some bad, some indifferent, but sometimes, just sometimes, I get sent something truly exceptional. Today is one of those days.
With their eponymous debut album, North Carolinans Irata have created a monster, a rampaging behemoth that leaves every other stoner / space rock album I’ve heard this year as bloody roadkill in its wake.
What makes Irata stand out from those who would be their peers; White Hills, Sleepy Sun, Black Mountain and the like (and have no doubt, we love those guys) is that rather than jamming their way through they are laser focused and tight as hell. All these tunes feel like they know exactly where they are going right from the outset and whilst they have many great ideas they never let any of them outstay their welcome. They wring what they can out of a tune and then kill it, stone dead sometimes, and move on to the next one, there’s no self indulgence here. For me personally, this is about as good as it gets.
The first tune showcases exactly what these boys are about. ‘Infinite Eight’ opens with an insistent melody and pounding drums that soon unfolds in to a moody, bass driven heavy riff. This properly attention grabbing stuff, background music it ain’t. Half way through there’s a breakdown involving some percussion and then the dirtiest, sleaziest brass riff you have ever heard before diving back in to the main thrust of the tune. Magnificent.
From then on it’s just hits all the way. ‘Slide’ is probably the most out and out space rocky of all the tracks but even here nothing is by accident, everything is in its place because that’s where they want it. Regular reader of this site will know that I have a bit of a thing about bass sounds, and Irata posses such a sound that immediately places itself in my top five or so bass tones ever and no more so is that evident than on the intro to ‘Pilgrim’; an absolutely immense epic of a tune half way through which I it comes to me: this is the album Tool were trying to make when they made ’10,000 Days’. The sound is not dissimilar, they share same the heavy, progressive ethos, the same desire to explore the darkside of the universe through riffs but there is a clarity of thought here that was sadly lacking from Tool’s most recent work. Bearing in mind that Tool are possibly my favourite band in the history of music you’re starting to get a feel for how highly I rate this record.
And on and on it goes; ‘Baby’s Breath’ with that gorgeous bass sound again to the fore, ‘Drunken Dwarf’ all dark and sleazy and ‘Eye Of Ra’ and ‘The Myer’, all great, but it is ‘Lemeloing’ and the album’s closer ‘Angel’s Stone’ that again take the breath away. The former starts as one of the albums more introspective moments, but gradually adds layers and builds tension until bursting in a cataclysmic climax, the latter rounds the album off in the way it opened, sledgehammer all the way, massive riffage, throbbing bass and pounding rhythm, blasting the listener out in to the cosmos one last time. Utterly brilliant.
If you have any interest whatsoever in space rock, stoner, psyche or progressive metal then you need this album in your life, period. It is a masterpiece of the genre and not just my album of the year, by a considerable distance, but a new entry in to that hallowed list of my favourite albums of all time, and I can’t say fairer than that.
~ Dan Salter, Echoes and Dust

I’ll be the first to admit that, for as much as I like the genre, post-rock has a few problems. Without going into too much detail, it’s laregly owing to a few common cliches and the greater stumbling block of being able to effect long-term engagement (particularly with instrumental post-rock). I mention those (albeit briefly) because it’s nice to come across an instrumental post-rock act who, by and large, avoid those problems.
Having recently discovered the label Silber Records, I took it upon myself to explore a few other titles in their catalogue. (First, the lovely China Mountain by Lotte Kestner – reviewed over at [sic]). Next up on my “hit-list” was Irata‘s self-titled debut, which I admittedly approached with equal amounts of trepidation and anticipation. Trepidation owing to the aforementioned issues; anticipation owing to Silber’s own description:
"Irata dwells in the world where drone, post rock, & metal unite into a giant monster to kick your ass. Guitars, drums, bass, & saxophone form this instrumental group from Greensboro, NC."
It is, at least, a combination that sparks intrigue, as my taste for projects blending drone into the mix has only been recently developed.
Ok, so what you can expect is some well-paced and energetic instrumental pieces that appear to draw heavily on action over emotion – which for me means it rocks without draining my energy. The riffs hook easily and there’s no unnecessarily extended or drawn out builds into cinematic-like climaxes (where often – even without lyrics – one can come away with the feeling of being a tad emotionally manipulated). These guys get straight into it and give it all right there. It might be just me, but I can see this being a great soundtrack to an action movie with tons of car chases and spy tactics. And ninjas. (Yes, there is some subtle subversiveness in this here music. Also, I just like ninjas).
You’ll get the post-rock, the metal and the drone, seasoned with the occasional touch of blues, shoegaze and even a light sprinkle of Middle Eastern influence. If it suffers from anything at all, it’s a bit of a tendency for repetitiveness, but at least the pace is swift enough to be able to carry it.
I’m often fascinated by the titles some post-rock bands will bestow upon their songs. Again there’s a common tendency to issue them with unnecessarily overlong and convoluted names that perhaps serve as an attempt to better clarify the story or concept with the listener… But I’m looking at this tracklisting and I have to say I find the comparitively succint Clown Rehab far more fascinating – my imagination has run away with it already (last seen wondering about the effects of clown addiction, whether or not one who suffers from it would hide big red noses and floppy shoes in various places about the house. It might seem like I’m making fun – I’m not. Consider it more having fun with what I’m being presented with; which I actually think is cool that I can do ;) . If one was to actually take a more philosophical approach, one might consider it to be a reference to the often implied notion that the happiness of a clown is a facade, and perhaps there is an addictive quality to maintaining that).
So there you have it, taken it on the nifty action packed level and let your imagination do some wilder things than mine; or study it all a little more deeply and find your own rewards.
~ Angie Mack, Satellite for Entropy

The Greensboro, North Carolina trio of Jon Case, Jason Duff and Jason Ward formed in late 2006 and has developed a reputation as one of the most exciting and best progressive rock bands in the entire state of North Carolina. With the release of their debut album, Irata on the Brooklyn, New York-based label, Silber Records, Irata has recorded what I think is one of the most sonically challenging and exciting albums I’ve heard in quite some time, as well as one of the hardest albums I’ve heard in the better part of a year. Duff’s guitar lines, full of fuzzy distortion buzz, drone and roar with a muscular insistence but also manages a gentle country and alt rock twang, depending on the song. Ward drums with a thundering and almost cathartic power while holding down some rather complex rhythmic structure – frequently changing rhythms during some stunning and heady changes in key, mood and chords. “Pilgrim,” starts off sounding much like the intro section to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2,” before ending with a sequence that was reminiscent of Nevermind-era Nirvana. “Eye of Ra,” ends with a section that sounds like 1960s surfer rock on steroids and amphetamines.
On the first few listens, the songs on Irata have a wild, unpredictable nature. The sudden changes in tempo, mood and chords and keys are a trippy head rush. Certainly, no one can doubt that these guys are amazingly talented musicians as the song structures reflect a jazzy and downright mathematical precision. Granted, on several songs I could easily hear Tool, A Perfect Circle and other bands – on a debut album that can be expected – but as they develop and carve out their own sound, I’ll definitely be excited to follow them. 
~ William Ruben Helms, The Joy of Violent Movement

One of the new CDs I received from Silber Media to review was the new one by raw, edgy, experimental Irata, entitled Eye of Ra. Don’t pay attention to anything that may read “metal” in conjunction with this CD. Although they are kind of hard and edgy, they’re more like Tool or the lesser-known instrumental, metal-tinged/syncopated jazz rhythm band Apeyga. Since the latter band is also an instrumental band (as is Irata) – they are a bit more apt as a comparison than Tool – but still, one can’t help but hear certain Tool influences here and there throughout Eye of Ra. The bassline, for one, really harkens back to Tool recordings as well as the consistently bombastic, yet tightly wound drumming. Then there’s the excellent guitar work of Irata, which seems to be on a plane of their own. Influences for the guitarist are harder to pick out, just by guessing and listening.
Listening to Eye of Ra I fell in love quickly with the album as a whole and really was impressed by the solid arrangements and the tightness with which they play. These qualities are evident on such examples as “Clown Rehab”, a 4 minute jam that really keeps you paying attention, it doesn’t drone off or get hyper-redundant, but cleverly just plows through the song and there is some kind of je ne sais quois about it that pulled me in the first time I listened to it. “Pilgrim” is another good cut, a bit slower than “Clown Rehab”, but it’s a longer tune and it still rocks and penetrates the psyche. Another song worth mentioning here is an 8 minute jam, “Baby’s Breath”.
Irata seems to have the spark and the intensity of a Smashing Pumpkins – talented, loud and at their best when just playing instrumentally, no singing needed, it’d only be superfluous. They also have what may seem to be the showmanship of someone like The Fantomas – Mike Patton’s (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) latest project. And if you’ve ever seen Patton live – no matter who he was with (Mr. Bungle being the most entertaining and original projects), you know what I mean by “showmanship”!
But just focus on Irata and what they can do for you: they will take away the stresses of a long day at work, get you pumped up for your daily workout routine or it can be a soundtrack to your party or your one-man vice machinations.
~ Kent Manthie, Reviewer Magazine

Irata is a new instrumental group from North Carolina formed by Jon Case (bass), Jason Duff (guitar, sax, Moog) and Jason Ward (drums, percussion, electronics). The band’s pretty unique sound is a combination of heavy metal, post rock, drone, psychedelia, experimental space rock, stoner rock, prog and surely lots of other styles as well. This debut album of theirs has now been re-released on Silber Records and for a good reason. The band features excellent musicians who really know how to make high-quality, multidimentional, at times atmospheric, at times heavily grooving music that doesn’t really sound like somebody else. The most peaceful stuff does still bring to mind bands like Explosions in the Sky or Mono a bit though; some of the prog metal parts are somewhat similar to Tool. Sometimes they rock really tightly too. I really like the playing style of all the members and together they form a greater whole than their sum. The use of effected saxophone, percussion and electronics adds wonderful extra dimensions to some of the tracks, but the band mainly focuses on creating very inventive sonic tapestry with just guitar, bass and drums. One of the best pieces is the seven-minute closer “Angel’s Share” that at first rocks hard and energetically. After a beautiful, tranquil part they go for a hypnotic, repetative mid-tempo going. I also really like for example the delay bass on “Pilgrim”. There are no weak links included: all the tracks have brilliant ideas and excellent playing. This band is definitely worth checking out! They very well might someday become one of the greats.
~ Dj Astro, Psychotropic Zone

Freunde der härteren Instrumentalmusik sollten ein Auge auf die jüngste (Wieder-)Veröffentlichung des Dröhn-Labels Silber Records werfen. Das selbstbetitelte Debüt von Irata aus dem Jahre 2008 steht dort zum digitalen Download bereit. Einige Titel, auf denen der Gitarrist des Trios zum Saxophon greift, so der Opener „Infinity Eight“ oder „Eye of Ra“, erinnern an die ebenfalls vorgestellte neue Seven that Spells-Scheibe und zählen zu den Höhepunkten des Albums. Wobei ich nicht den Rest herabwerten möchte, schließlich ist das ganze Album atmosphärisch dicht und druckvoll. So seien „Clown Rehab“ oder „Angel´s Share“ als weitere Anspieltipps genannt. Die Truppe aus North Carolina bietet guten, heftigen instrumentalen Rock, nicht mehr und nicht weniger.
~ Electric Magic

Da stöpselt man doch gern die Luftgitarre ein. Lange nichts mehr von Tool gehört? Macht nichts. Eine Menge beinhartes Eisen, intelligente Frickelei ohne Selbstzweck, präzises Timing und Liebe zu luftig-leichten progressiven Soundlandschaften machen Spass. Wir betreten keine flache, eintönige Gegend, sondern vermintes Terrain. Ich bin ob des Albums regelrecht aus dem Häusschen. So gute Musik aus dieser Abteilung habe ich schon lange nicht mehr gehört. Für passionierte Luftgitarrenverbieger und Freunde von psychedelischen Prog-Metal und ein wenig Heavy-Rock gibt es aus  dem Album “Irata” eine Menge an eisenhaltigen Nektar zu ziehen.
Das Trio Irata stammt aus Greensboro, North Carolina und wurde Ende 2006 gegründet. Die Instrumente, mit denen Irata Klang und Nektar produziert,  sind Gitarre, Saxophon, Bass, Schlagzeug, Percussion und eine Menge  elektronischer Sounds, die für das wabernde psychedelische Fundament sorgen. Die Musik atmet und fließt, erscheint trotz harte Akzente und schwerem rythmischen Unterbau leicht wie eine Feder. Quadratur des Kreises, sehr schön umgesetzt.
Und so lasst uns das Trio aus North Carolina ehren und preisen und diese Musterschüler für Progressive-Metal zwischen Feinmechanik und wuchtigen Schmiedearbeit loben. Langeweile kommt bei den mitunter ausuferndenden, elegant die 15 Minuten durchbrechendenden und technisch brillianten Songs nicht auf. Zwischen pulsierenden Schlagzeugbeats, präzise getimten Gutarrenlinien, pluckernden Bassläufen sowie psychedelischen Luftholen passiert so ungemein viel in den Songs, das mir alten Hallodri der Atem stoppt.  Und das alles ohne Gesang. Der wird nicht eine Sekunde vermisst. Bewundernwert, empfehlenswert.
Nachtrag I: Die Hundedame geht so langsam, da muss man sich beim Gassigehen noch Arbeit mitnehmen muss. Unglaublich, aber wahr. Das Album von Irata habe ich auf meiner ersten Runde (4,8 Km) mit Neuzugang Ebby nicht nur komplett gehört, sondern während des Spaziergangs via iPhone und dem Simplenote App, einem Tool, dass ich schon lange nicht mehr missen kann, diese Rezension verfasst. Moderne Zeiten,  ein Leben in der Wolke.
Nachtrag II:  Ebby hat nicht geknurrt, zwar mir gegenüber noch recht verhalten aber im Grossen und Ganzen sehr nett.
~ Schallgrenzen

E chi l'ha detto che il progressive strumentale dev'essere necessariamente serioso, a mò dei Tortoise, e non capace di coinvolgere il corpo oltre che la mente? Direi nessuno, e arrivano dunque gli Irata con il loro album di debutto per la Silber Records a dimostrarci che una via di mezzo effettivamente può esistere.
Barcamenandosi spesso su tempi musicali piuttosto ridotti (specialmente per una struttura di canzone così tipicamente "lasca"), i tre di Greensboro portano a fruizione una proposta davvero allettante, unendo ogni tipo d'ispirazione possibile onde tracciare un percorso... effettivamente difficile da tracciare. Su ogni buona idea vi si costruisce sapientemente sopra; ascoltare il basso molto Chancellor-esco di Pilgrim, che diventa base su cui la chitarra di Jason Duff disegna accordi e note quasi drone. Ottimo anche il lavoro di batteria di Jason Ward, tentacolare e intricato come giustamente serve al genere.
Prodotto in maniera impeccabile, nei dieci pezzi di 'Irata' si trova davvero molto da apprezzare, e nonostante l'orecchiabilità sia sempre ad alti livelli è difficile entrare nel sound dei tre. Figuriamoci che a malapena vi accorgerete di essere già a metà disco e ancora nessuno è intervenuto a cantare, talmente ci si sente a proprio agio. Allo stesso tempo, però, si avverte una maggiore necessità di sperimentazione, carta che il gruppo gioca piuttosto poco, limitandosi piuttosto a tracciare il proprio percorso sul rock classico. Quando però si ascoltano quei guizzi di elettronica o di sassofono (in Lemeloing e nell'esotica e misteriosa Eye of Ra, corredata anche da un discreto video musicale in bianco e nero) si resta sorpresi e impressionati, impossibile non volerne di più.
Dunque, un'ottima prima proposta da parte degli Irata, che attendiamo volentieri per una seconda prova ove confermare quanto di buono già ascoltato.
~ Damiano Gerli, Kathodik