Phil Gatrell, Romsey, England
18th February 2015
Album review: MIRE – Inward Outward – http://mire.bandcamp.com/
I picked up this album after a few hours of sifting the sands of Bandcamp for a nugget of gold. I located the band by searching through music tagged with ‘Tool’. After passing over several bands that had Maynard Keenan karaoke over quirky timing signatures, I came upon the artistic collective known as MIRE. For those of you not familiar with the band, they are a super talented five-piece, hailing from Montreal, Canada. Upon first listening, obvious Tool comparisons can be drawn, which makes complete and utter sense of the Bandcamp tag! Suffice to say, if you are a fan of the Lateralus/10,000 Days era Tool, then there is a very strong chance you’re going to love this record. Comparisons are thrown about carelessly in a time that it is desperately hard for artists to create original music, so please don’t think that for one second I’m suggesting this is some form of Tool tribute band. In this day in age, what band can’t be compared to a musical forefather, or be cited as being inspired by echoes from the past? Furthermore, I can’t think of many better bands to be compared with. Enough about Tool and on to MIRE, who have created a truly brilliant album with Inward Outward.
The album slides into gear with ‘Complex’, which serves to demonstrate the band’s collective musical capabilities straight from the album’s inception. The title is in no way misleading and gives you a strong sense of the band’s identity, as well as what the terrain is going to look like on this musical journey. The early pinched harmonic told me these guys are serious about playing and the album opener ruthlessly sways and alternates in tempo to the point that it feels like your subconscious is swimming in an aural Jazuzzi. Try listening to this one properly; led down, eyes closed and with senses immersed in the flight path of the sounds waves. It’s a truly glorious experience.
Tyyranicide is a little more punchy than the album opener, but is in no way less complex than Complex! This track features a stunning vocal chorus that resonates genuine emotion and ferocious energy. The layers of guitars are more aggressive on this track and are complimented by an onslaught of vocals that serve to hit home a strong vocal message behind Tyrannicide. This is an absolute monster of a track.
Limitless Pt.1 follows and takes a few revs off the pace, slowing the tempo with subtle guitar licks, piano chords, harmonised vocals and some beautiful accompanying percussion. This track really does showcase the vocal talents of JP LaChapelle, who fronts this Maple Leaf Masterpiece. The track is a slow burner and briefly launches into gear before simmering down gently lead us into Pt.2.
Limitless Pt.2 serves to compliment Pt.1 and is a wonderful continuation from Pt.1. The vocal talents of JP LaChapelle bleed from the tweeters from the outset and it’s fair to say that both Limitless Pt.1 and 2 are both musical vehicles for Chapelle, who is the driving force and focal point behind both of these stunning works of art.
Despite being 18 minutes and 4 tracks into the album, it feels like the album is still minty fresh by the time the opening riff to Convolution is introduced. The opening section of the track has a gloriously tight, but lackadaisical drum beat. I hate to use a term that is so often misused in modern society, but there is a effortless swagger in the rhythm department on Convolution. Stephane Boileau’s percussion on this track is outrageously good, as well as bursting with versatility. Stephane is giving us a full tour around the kit and let me tell you now, you’ll be booking a return trip before you’ve even got half way into this one. This track features one of the more memorable vocal hooks from the record, with the reflective and thought provoking line “Look the beast in the eye, now that beast is I.” There is a glorious primal roar on this track that anchors a powerful musical onslaught as the track draws to a climactic finale. As with Complex and Tyrannicide, I was immediately reaching to restart the track as soon as it came to its close, such was my greed to re-consume the musical smorgasbord that I’d just devoured.
Catalan Atlas features tireless guitar work from Dave Massicotte and Bruno Choinard, who selflessly and effortlessly provide the current in the river of sound for this track. The maintenance of the razor sharp rhythm section of this track is truly outstanding, as the track gently ebbs and flows. Once again, this track is a musical journey and the structure of the song breaks the standard conventions associated with most rock and metal songs. The journey is unpredictable and this is something that is extremely engaging for the listener throughout the whole body of work on this record. You find your ear searching for direction in the dark, and by the time you reach the conclusion of the song, you are left wondering how you got there, as well as feeling a warm sense of satisfaction and gratification, before immediately getting back in line to do it all over again.
Mantra Cymactic is the most curious track on the record and feels more of a muse than a song. There is a haunting quality to the track and the American Native style vocal patterns are intriguing and mildly hypnotic. The focus and deep emotive quality of the track is delightfully punctuated by a somewhat unexpected proclamation from JP LaChappelle of “Fuck it, I’ll do it myself.”
Open Circle leads off with an agitated percussion and guitar stand off, with both contributors dancing round one another like Capoeira masters. The song takes a slightly more conventional route than some of the previous offerings on the album, but make no mistake, that takes nothing from the calibre of another piece of musical brilliance. The mid-section of the song eases the tempo and decelerates the track with some sombre keys and a beautifully crafted guitar section. Some of the more cathartic elements of the guitar work can be found on this track and there are subtle hints of A Perfect Circle in small pockets of this song.
Upheaval signs off the album and is something of an industrial sound scape that feel like it wouldn’t have been out of place in one of the more suspense heightening moments from one of the Saw movies. This track is genuinely unnerving and through headphones, I was expecting something pretty nasty to sign this one off, but instead, a haunting whisper instructs us to “Awaken”, not once, but twice, before disappearing into silence. Profound.
In summary, this album is utterly brilliant. The entire journey takes the listener on a path that twists and turns unpredictably and to that end, could be compared with some of the works of Pink Floyd or Yes in terms of structure and unpredictability. The musical composition is fabulous and far more aggressive and heavy than either of the aforementioned bands from days gone by. Each listen of the album brings a new gem, a new find and a new experience that continues to leave me feeling supremely gratified and hungry for the next listen. I can’t recommend this album highly enough.
I strongly implore anyone who finds their eye wandering across these words to purchase this wonderful album via Bandcamp, whereby these hard working and wonderfully talented artists in MIRE can receive a small level of payment for all of their hard work, talent, vision and emotional commitment to produce this album for us all to experience and enjoy forever.
MIRE – Inward / Outward
R.I.Y.L. = Tool, Deftones, A Perfect Circle, Isis, Dredg, Soen, Moist, Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Audio Slave, Pink Floyd
Release Date: March 18, 2014
DISTRIBUTION: Believe Digital
UPC CODE # (coming soon)
ISRC Codes # (coming soon)
PR Rep – Jon Asher – ashermedia(@)gmail.com
Interview on CKUT (starts at 17mins) – http://archives.ckut.ca/128/20140414.22.00-23.00.mp3
Interview on Global TV Montreal + Performance – Metal Monday – http://globalnews.ca/video/1254567/metal-monday
“…newcomers Mire should be considered the heirs to the Tool throne with their latest record, Inward Outward is about as close to Tool as you can get without being Tool. Musically and sonically, Mire are spot-on with the psychedelic metal we’ve all become so accustomed to and you’re guaranteed to zone out listening to the record. If you were to get into the right state of mind before listening to the record, you’d be guaranteed a pleasant trip- or a really adventurous one. Vocally, you’d almost think you’re listening to Maynard James Keenan halfway through the record and you’re gonna lose yourself in it if you immerse yourself in the listening experience. Inward Outward is the perfect appetizer to the upcoming Tool album that may or may not get released in the near future and fans who are desperate for something fresh will feel right at home with Mire’s Inward Outward.” – The Front Row Report
“With Inward:Outward, MIRE has formed a soundscape that flows between mellow moods and mental turbulence, using the whole spectrum of sound as its playground. It is emotional, striking, and addictively wonderful. You would be doing yourself a disservice not to, at the very least, download the free tracks offered by this promising young group.” – Barry Adkins – Target Audience Magazine
“If you’re a fan of Tool, Karnivool, A Perfect Circle, Dead Letter Circus, and similar sounding bands, then you should be pointing your ears towards Montreal, QC band Mire” – Bloody Disgusting
“Touted as being the heir apparent to the long vacant TOOL throne of progressive rock, Montreal’s Mire provide a convincing display of aptitude, depth and prowess, while sounding a LOT like TOOL. These complex compositions with delicate dynamics captured my attention from first listen and continue to provide satisfaction as more layers unfold.” – Maximum Ink Magazine
“While the world waits for the forthcoming Tool album (and we’ve been waiting a LONG time), everyone should do themselves a favor and grab a copy of Inward/Outward. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.” – Sea of Tranquility
“If you’re a fan of Tool, you will definitely enjoy Montreal/Quebec’s MIRE…To truly understand how incredible this album and this band is, you have to hear it for yourself. So, with that in mind, what are you waiting for?! Go out and pick your copy up and discover what happens when progressive rock is done right!” – New Transcendence
“Tool and Isis fans don’t have to feel abandoned by their bands anymore, because here is album that fully lives up to the standards of alternative metal giants like these. It is a very worthy appetizer if not replacement for what Isis has brought us and Tool will hopefully still bring us in the future.” – Lords of Metal
“If you are looking for an interesting sounding album which changes its landscape and sound with each passing song then you need to look no further.” – Kingston Music Reviews
“…a sophisticated style with fundamental guitars and classy quality vocals.” – Metal Temple
“This is an album of incredibly impressive music that is both haunting and uplifting in equal measure. The soaring audio landscapes are multi-layered, and the experience of listening to this album is a real emotional journey. It perfectly combines aggressive chunky guitars, melodic piano, and moments of all out angst and aggression. This is an album of hypnotizing prog-metal that just gets better with each and every listen. If you’re a fan of progressive rock / metal, this is highly recommended! Score: 9.0 out of 10” – All About The Rock
“Fans of bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, Deftones and Porcupine Tree should feel right at home listening to this quintet out of Montreal QC…MIRE’s vocalist, J.P. Lachapelle, delivers a wide range of dynamics and emotion in his singing, from soft whispered parts to full-on intense screams. Like the bands that influenced them, MIRE has a firm grasp on the use of dynamics in their song writing, making each track more of a composition than just a song. They skillfully weave a sonic tapestry full of rich textures and vibrant colors, soft piano melodies that stitch effortlessly into some serious headbanging guitar riffs. Inward/Outward takes us on a journey through a musical landscape filled with compelling rhythmic patterns and thoughtful lyrical content…I think MIRE is a band to keep your eyes and ears on, and I look forward to seeing their territory grow.” – Rock Revolt Magazine
“This album is as heavy as hell when it needs to be, moody and introspective when it needs to be and very focused. There’s a lot of pounding, polyrhythmic drumming, “sensitive” vocals ala Maynard James Keenan (but not a total clone…they have their own idenity) and the pendulum-like swing between restrained tension and explosive riffing.” – Wormwood Chronicles
“The performance is very solid, and the drumming in particular is considerably dynamic, often providing tom-tom driven jungle beats and odd metered rhythms. The songwriting is also admirable, as every song is dynamic and complex in structure…this is a pretty good album. The music is on the alternative and introvert side, so do not expect shredding or bombastic epicness, but if you like progged up alternative metal which is rich in atmosphere, then you should give Mire a listen.” – Metal Music Archives
“Lyrically and thematically, it’s a hugely memorable album.” – Heavy Blog Is Heavy
“I adore this album and have now had it on three times and heard new bits that make me go ‘Ahhh!’ in satisfaction each time. Definitely one to buy, and definitely a band to watch out for.” – Wyrd Ways Rock Show Review
“Inward/Outward is an excellent first full-length declaration from MIRE, one which more than suggests that this is a band ready to rigorously seize the attention and appetite of progressive and melodic metal and hold it for a long time to come.” – RingMaster Review
“this progressive rock/heavy metal outfit has more then enough attitude to make a track like “Tyrannicide” sound legit while a more “commercial” number “Open Circle” could easily capture the attention modern rock radio listeners and catapult Mire all the way to the top! Helped out greatly by the powerful voice of lead singer J.P. Lachapelle, who, as far as rock front-man go, has the near-perfect blend of soulful-seduction, sexual charisma and street grit to cross the aisle between male and female listeners (something we’ve seen from Mick Jagger to Axl Rose!).” – Heavy Metal Time Machine
“Inward/Outward is an incredibly promising and very exciting debut album.” – Two Guys Metal Reviews
“As a whole, Mire have done something pretty special with this release. Showing that good things can come from Canada, Inward/Outward is some of the most thrilling and catchy prog I have heard in a while. Transcending trends like djent and this new wave of old school worship Mire make progressive metal the way it was meant to be played, with an energy seemingly torn from hell. Stick this on your speakers, crack a 2-4 (The best way to drink Canadian beer eh) and enjoy, worth many a spin Inward/Outward is an incredibly promising and very exciting debut album.” – Two Guys Metal Reviews
“Their sound is hypnotizing and the lyrics are thought provoking.” – Collectively Beautiful
“Euphoria and excitation; the path chosen by these five musicians is exceptional. Very positive and down to earth” – Journal L’Exemplaire
“They certainly leave their mark. They are a diamond in the rough. The perfect place to be. They certainly bring Prog Rock back and then push it forward to another dimension. Lead singer, J.P. has what it takes to rip your heart or leave a tear hanging desperately on the edge of your eyelash. MIRE’s album « Inward:Outward » is a damn good start.” – Curtains Up
Track Listing: Inward/Outward
1. Complex (7:18)
2. Tyrannicide (5:33)
3. Limitless (Pt. 1) (3:47)
4. Limitless (Pt. 2) (3:22)
5. Convolution (1:23)
6. Beast and The Machine (5:53)
7. Catalan Atlas (5:05)
8. Mantra Cymatic (1:51)
9. Open Circle (5:42)
10. Upheaval (1:19)
Total Length: 41:17
• All songs performed by: Mire
• All songs written by: Mire
• Produced by: Mire & J.P. Nault
• Mixed by: J.P. Nault
• Mastered by: Ryan Morey
• CD Cover, Album Artwork: Diego Leal
2014 – Inward / Outward – LP
2010 – MIRE (Self-Titled) – EP
Shared Stage w/
Radio Radio, Courage My Love, Frozen Death, Shatters, Dogbus, Mordicus, Mak, Tiny Danza, Dead Citizen, Volume Collective, Far From Reality, Steinbock, Another Fallen Hero, Dance Over All
Dave Massicotte: Guitar & Vocals | Robbie O’Brien : Bass | Stephane Boileau: Drums | J.P. Lachapelle: Lead Vocals | Bruno Chouinard: Guitar & Keys
Photo Credit: Carl Lessard [Download High Res Photo]
1. deep, wet, sticky earth.
2. a messy situation.
It may not seem like an obvious choice for a band name, but for Montreal progressive metal outfit MIRE, it represents the starting point for most of life’s greatest creations.
Just like the energy and chaos that transform a clump of gas into a star or the energy and chaos that give birth to a MIRE track.
Two years in the making, Inward:Outward is the result of ideas flying every which way around the recording studio, reflecting a wide range of backgrounds, from cognitive science to a military stint in Afghanistan by guitarist Dave Massicotte.
“We created this with our guts and have dared to explore a less common style of metal where the music is less obvious and sometimes requires the individual to have more than one listen before being able to grasp and really appreciate every musical element,” says guitarist Massicotte of the album.
“From big chunky guitar to light piano melody, every song will take you on a different journey and set of emotions.”
CJLO 1690 AM Concordia University’s radio station in Montreal Top 100 Metal Bands for 2014
#14 Mutank, #19 Wacken Metal Battle Canada Compilation, #23 Dark Century, #24 Expain, #29 Hollow, #32 Psychotic Gardening, #41 Viathyn, #43 MIRE, #45 Protokult, #48 Unbeing, #61 Laika, #64 Endless Chaos, #70 Idol of Fear, #75 Throne of Vengeance, #81 Double Experience, #84 Kill Matilda, #100 Psychostick
1IN THE NAME OF HAVOC
2DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
5KILL OF RIGHTS
7GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH
8DANCE LAURY DANCE
19VARIOUS – WACKEN METAL BATTLE
27KOBRA & THE LOTUS
35END OF GALLIA
38EVERY TIME I DIE
42DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
44HERO’S LAST RITE
54OBEY THE BRAVE
65HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY
69AT THE GATES
70IDOL OF FEAR
71PROTEST THE HERO
75THRONE OF VENGEANCE
80VALLEY OF THE SUN
90CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
94USA OUT OF VIETNAM