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 various influences, including emo, hip-hop, and dark pop. 

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 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.”

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The music video for Phantom portrays Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’, emphasising 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 that 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 of NO:IR, illustrating a contemporary and dynamic revival of heavy music. Are We Really Alive conveying themes of depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, distrust, and unity? shows the different musical aspects of their sound, through trap beats, heavy metal breakdowns and haunting melodies.

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