Since their debut in 2019, Bristol-based Nu-Metal five-piece NO:IR have evolved their sound from their hardcore roots to create a modern fusion from a host of genres. They take deep inspiration – and their name, from Film Noir, often characterised by cynicism, intricate plots and existential philosophy.
With four previous successful singles under their belt, the band have achieved more than 100,000 streams on Spotify. Their innate blend of rap and metal draws on an array of influences including emo, hip-hop and dark pop. This has resulted in a signature re-imagination of the Nu-Metal sound; their upcoming single Phantom due for release May 7th 2021, captures this perfectly.
Produced, Mixed and Mastered with Josh Gallop (Phoxjaw) at Stage 2 Studios in Bath, Phantom challenges and explores the honesty and authenticity around an artist’s image. Established artists show a diverse variety of personalities, with some being completely transparent about their feelings and life stories; and some being the opposite, creating new identities or writing about fictitious situations in order to seem more appealing or interesting.
“Phantom explores these ideas and reflects this back onto NO:IR,” explains lyricist Evvi Davies. “The song is intuitive about who NO:IR is, and comparing the honesty in our music to the persona we have created as a band. NO:IR isn’t five individuals but one personality, blending elements of the individuals into one character. The song questions our authenticity, and the lyrics directly reflect where we are as a band.”
The music video for Phantom portrays Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’, with an emphasis being on the shadows and silhouettes created by the band. The video challenges their own honesty and authenticity within their music. Often, we can believe an artist is being honest, however they’re really depicting a story which appears true to the world but in reality are just casting shadows on the cave wall.
Phantom is taken from their upcoming EP Are We Really Alive? due for release later this year. Are We Really Alive? Is the premiere to NO:IR, illustrating a contemporary and dynamic revival of heavy music. Conveying themes of depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, distrust and unity, Are We Really Alive? shows the different musical aspects of their sound, through trap beats, heavy metal breakdowns and haunting melodies.
Just the start of the video and the screaming vocals come together in a wave of transcendence. It’s an utterly beautiful wave of emotion you just don’t get enough of in the world. Moving forward, the track is very well produced and the drums with the guitar just have this coherent rhythm that is impossible to ignore. I truly can’t wait to hear more because NO:IR could be a band that changes the shape of things in this generation.
Check out the video for ‘Phantom’ below.