The Iris, and Signs of Betrayal

Phoenix-based metal band The Iris seems to thrive on exploring and adapting electronic sounds to its format — with no bass player, it relies heavily on the programming of guitarist Kasey Kautenburger and drummer Tim Klever, while Marilyn Manson-inspired vocalist Brandon Dooley moans and screams into the mic, taking encouragement from lead guitarist Aeron Bailey. This is mostly evidenced in the incredibly strange "Hush and Abide" and "Assfist," tracks from their current disc, The Vanity Fair. Signs of Betrayal, who also hail from Phoenix, is more rooted in melodic-geared metal. One would agree with vocalist Dave Williams (according to an interview published online) that the band is a huge amalgam of influences, and it's not scared to show that in its music. On "Torn Down," keyboardist Steve Byram begins with a keyboard riff that would not be out of place in a prog-rock setting. Of course, the band can't betray its core feeling when the guitars come in screaming alongside Williams' powerful vocals, which suit the general feel of the song like an iron glove. The band also seems to thrive with heavy ballads, as one can attest from "My Song to You," a tune from 2006's self-released Wide Eyed Coma.


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