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Review: Shores of Acheron – IRA

Ira is Shores of Acheron’s latest EP released in June of 2015. There are 7 songs running to about 22 minutes fully through. Ira hits hard so be sure to pick it up or listen to it on Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes!

Opening the EP is an introductory track that reminds me of Silent Hill type music. There is a very deep voice garbling words behind a steady beat with some sort of pan filter over it, giving it a far away and persisting sound. Towards the end a high guitar note is played to drag you into “The Tenth Plague.” A quick breakdown starts the song then leads into riffing, fast drumming, another brief breakdown, then brutality. This song takes the label “deathcore” and runs far with it between the breakdowns, song structure, and extreme playing. You get everything from the slow and fast breakdowns, to death metal styled grooves, to straight-up headbanging grooves. A suitable song to start Ira.

“False Flag” has a tasty melodic rhythm at some points that adds an airy atmosphere to the contrasting heavy lead going on. While this song isn’t as breakdown-heavy as “The Tenth Plague,” there are two breakdowns that are nearly gut-wrenching and I couldn’t help but mention how great they are. Low-tuned riffing takes over after one of said breakdowns before an accompanying rhythm in a higher octave joins. The use of both guitars and solid drumming backing them up makes “False Flag” and Ira, in general, sound whole. The way “False Flag” ends makes it sound like the EP is finished, yet you get the feeling there is a part 2, which is where “Ira” comes along.

“Ira” is the song that is the stepping stone into progressively heavier and, dare I say, more interesting songs. That means the songs from “Ira” on are great and get better as you get closer to the end of Ira. That doesn’t mean the first 2 songs were dull by any means; they hit hard and would start a pit good enough to bash my face in. On “Ira” the vocals add higher screams to the mix rather than just doing growls or gutturals. Besides the vocal range, there is more guitar duality magic and just a great drum track playing too. Similar words can be said about “Vice and Virtue,” except “Vice and Virtue” introduces breakdowns that remind me of Within the Ruins, a killer beginning, and sick gutturals that make their debut on Ira on this track. Phaser also returns on the rhythm during some chugged riffs and during a breakdown. Just by the way “Vice and Virtue” goes from pure death metal to bone-crushing deathcore and have decent rhythm track with all of that is enough for me.

“Flesh and Blood” is the last official track because “Finding Hope” is a prelude-type of track that just ends the EP; there aren’t lyrics or guitar work or anything of that nature. “Flesh and Blood” seems to carry every trait that most of the other songs feature, but all in one track, The vocal range is wide, the breakdowns don’t disappoint, the frantic melodies are on point, and the song comes together well. It isn’t a song that sounds out of the ordinary for Shores of Acheron, but it is a song that sums up Ira well enough.

Rounding up Ira: it was sick. I only have a few minor complaints: the bass is inaudible and I am not a fan of introductory or ending tracks like “Seeing Red” or “Finding Hope.” It feels out of place and feels like filler to me, but a lot of bands do it so I must be wrong here. Other than those, Ira was great and has factors that I’m sure many of you would enjoy. The vocals are absolutely sick and matches the guitar tones perfectly. The drumming was great and there were many little accents on either vocal or instrumental changes that really stood out to me. The way the songs are mixed makes it sound like each instrument is being played next to each other on a stage rather than layered and stacked in a studio; well done. Shores of Acheron never disappoints.

Rate: 8/10

Do you agree? Did you like Ira?


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