|Genres||Progressive rock, progressive metal, post-rock, doom metal, black metal, math rock|
|Labels||Out On A Limb Records|
Rest are an instrumental rock group from Cork, Ireland. The group's sound has evolved over the course of their existence to incorporate elements of progressive rock, tech-metal, post-rock, doom, black metal and math rock. The groups sound is characterised by intricate harmonised riffs, complex drum patterns, unconventional song structures, a heavy emphasis on dynamics and alternating time signatures. As well as releasing one album and an EP on Limerick independent record label Out on a Limb Records, the band has also toured Ireland and the United Kingdom, sharing stages with the likes of Isis, Cult of Luna, Oxbow, Baroness, Torche, Zu, Red Sparowes and Explosions in the Sky.
Founded in 1999 while still in secondary school by guitarists Stephen Barry and Graham Lynch, drummer Johnny Lynch and bassist Mark Power, the group originally went under the name Wretch, in homage to Palm Desert rockers Kyuss, a band whom the four-piece were greatly influenced by. Early Wretch shows saw the group cover many Kyuss songs along with material by Alice in Chains, Orange Goblin, Black Sabbath and System of a Down. The group’s original material during this time also reflected their collective interest in stoner rock, and unlike their current incarnation, also featured vocals, provided by guitarist Stephen Barry. As the group continued to write more original material the direction their sound was taking moved away from its stoner rock roots towards a more expansive post-rock influence. The group decided to drop the vocals and focus solely on creating instrumental music. A demo, There's No Harm In Harmony, was the first indication of this new direction and was followed by some extensive gigging around Ireland, including shows with El Guapo, Giddy Motors and The Redneck Manifesto. The group also had their first official release in 2003 on Out On A Limb Records, a split Christmas single with Limerick rockers Giveamanakick. Rest’s contribution to the release was an instrumental take on the classic, Walking in the Air.
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
The group’s début album, Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, was released by Limerick independent label Out On A Limb Records in 2004. Recorded in West Cork over the course of a week, the album showcased the groups diverging musical interests. As well as the increasingly prevalent influence of post-rock, the group also stretched out into electronica, post-metal, math-rock and post-punk territory. The album also featured vocals by Cork singer-songwriter Annette Buckley on a number of tracks as well as a four piece string section. The group would later return the favour to Buckley by playing on two tracks on her album The Ever Changing Colours of the Sea. Both albums featured in We Are Noise's Top 50 Cork Albums, as voted for by an array of critics, contributors, reviewers, musicians, bloggers and promoters. The Ever Changing Colour of the Sea was voted number 22, whilst Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame was placed at number 13.
Operation: Impending Doom
As the group prepared to begin writing the follow-up to their debut album, bassist Mark Power took the decision to leave the group. The remaining trio continued without a bassist while putting together the material that would become the Operation: Impending Doom EP. Recorded with Ciaran O’Shea (Cyclefly) in 2006, the EP was another stylistic departure from their debut record. Heavier and more complex in sound and structure, the two-track EP was to prove an indicator of the sound the band currently plays. In 2006 Limerick native Colm O’Shea was recruited on bass. That year the band was invited by Swedish post-metal outfit Cult of Luna to support them on their UK tour. Operation: Impending Doom was released in January, with the title track later being used on a Kerrang Compilation album, New Breed, alongside a number of emerging British acts.
I Hold the Wolf
The band returned with a new LP, I Hold The Wolf, their first since 2004’s debut album Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame in February 2013. Comprising eight songs and 56 minutes of music, I Hold The Wolf was six years in the making. The album, which is available in both digital form as well as double heavyweight vinyl, was recorded at Data Studios, Kerry, mastered by James Plotkin, and was released on the bands’ long-standing (and very patient) label Out On A Limb Records. Just as 2007’s Operation: Impending Doom EP represented a marked departure from the sound of their debut record, I Hold The Wolf found the band moving their sound forward in new directions. The album is a mutant hybrid of intricate technical riffs, classic-rock influenced guitar harmonies, frenetic and propulsive drums, doomed out psych rock, uplifting Yes-style prog passages, analogue synth sounds, Sabbaths’ pummeling down-tuned grooves and Black Metals corrosive, relentless and hypnotic crescendos.