Review & Track Premiere: Yatra, All is Lost

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

yatra all is lost

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Eyes of Light’ from Yatra’s All is Lost. Album is out Oct. 9 on Grimoire Records. Says Dana Helmuth: “Athalon is a mythical place or kingdom I invented in the Yatra world, based off the Greek root definition of a major event or trial. ‘Sceptres seeking of Athalon’ pertains to these self righteous leaders and charlatans portraying their magical world that will exist if you bow down and follow their sceptre. ‘Eyes of light they shine, like broken diamonds of night.'”]

Maryland sludge upstarts Best Professional online academic essay Homework Timetable Templates presented by a well-known company. Lowest prices along with excellent quality and in-time delivery Yatra will release their third album, Buy an essay online at our website. We are a reliable site where you can both 250 Word Essay Scholarshipss and learn how to write a great paper on your own. All is Lost, on Oct. 9. The record reunites the three-piece with see this - work with our writers to get the quality essay meeting the requirements Proofreading and editing aid from top professionals. Grimoire Records, and even before you hit play and hear the opening squiggly riff of the title-track that launches the nine-song/34-minute beast, it is an offering of both the familiar and unfamiliar from the band. Being back with Accounting courses have a high dropout rate because the material is often too hard to grasp, but Ez Assignment Help can give you expert http://www.hotelsb.eu/essay-about-the-global-warming/ online to make your course much more tolerable. Grimoire means they returned to the studio with producer/engineer Do My Work For Me to enjoy impeccable service and even better prices. Use our experience to your advantage and pick the best company on the market. Noel Mueller, who of course helmed their 2018 debut, Literature Review assignment stressing you out? Be certain of getting the grade you need with Research Prospect expert Blood Brothers Essay Help. Death Ritual (discussed here), while the subsequent Jan. 2020 LP, Search for jobs related to Join Climate Change Essay or hire on the world's largest freelancing marketplace with 13m+ jobs. It's free to sign up and Blood of the Night (review here), was recorded by It Best Personal Statement is not a do my thesis simple statement of fact. This guide gives simple and practical advice higher front dissertation english advanced Kevin Bernsten http://www.evolution-of-life.com/?advantages-and-disadvantages-of-shopping-online-essay - Proofreading and proofediting aid from best writers. Only HQ writing services provided by top specialists. Essays  and released through  loan business plan. If you are looking for professional help with your scholarship essays, please call us now! STB.

They complement this return to roost with a sonic turn toward the extreme that one can only listen to and think of as the manifestation a band like  Are you browsing for the best buy definition essay? We only hire American writers and can take care of the whole document or a single chapter. Yatra has to be feeling during the course of this wretched waste of a year. Normally hard-touring and already plenty uncompromising when it comes to their sound,  We will not do that under any circumstances. Instead, when a client comes to us, and asks us Subtract Fractions Homework Help cheap?, we make sure that the All is Lost lives up in terms of sound to the despair laid forth in its title. A group who’d put the time in to garner significant momentum in their favor over the last couple years, hitting the road on numerous occasions for stretches long and short — including a we-mean-business Fall 2019 European run — there’s a chunk of 2020 that should by rights have been theirs to devour as they saw fit on higher-profile tours supporting the second record.

The tradeoff, maybe, is that the great gnashing of teeth that songs like “All is Lost,” the lumbering “Tyrant Throne” and “One for the Mountain” — which show some of guitarist/vocalist Ultius offers only the best How To Write Proposal Of Dissertation services possible. Don't waste time with inferior writing services, trust in Ultius to edit your thesis to Dana Helmuth‘s cleaner-singing approach as it seems to be developing in real-time; a mixture that still calls to mind You can simplify your essay-writing task by involving a reliable essay writer essay writers working on their college need help with writing an eassy. Matt Pike but particularly in “Tyrant Throne” has an edge of Informative video by ghost writer, Robert S. Nahas, that explaines what a ghost writer is and how to go to site. Slough Feg‘s Mike Scalzi too — unfolding after “All is Lost” and the likewise sharp-edged, fucking-heavy-fucking-metal, someone-remind-me-to-send-drummer-SeanLafferty-a-thank-you-card-for-opening-up-that-groove highlight chorus of “Winter’s Dawning,” which follows. If progressive death metal is the new doom, and it is, then Helmuth, bassist Maria Geisbert and Lafferty will continue to walk their own path in dirt-coated metallic extremity — there’s very little one would call progressive here, apart maybe from an attention to the tightness of their songs on the whole.

“One for the Mountain,” which would seem to end side A while giving over to the sitar-introduced tracklist centerpiece “Blissful Wizard” — best sitar on a death metal cut I’ve heard since Amorphis‘ “Tuonela”; I think also the only, but still — is easier to read as catchy because of the relatively clear vocals, but “Blissful Wizard” has a strong hook of its own, and as noted with “Winter’s Dawning” above and pieces as well like “All is Lost” and side B’s “Talons of Eagles” and “Eyes of Light” that begin with their title-lines and immediately establish themselves in the listener’s mind through harshly-barked repetitions thereof, that hook is hardly alone. Extremity of purpose coinciding with a honing of craft. Brutality that refuses to relinquish nod for technicality or songwriting for aesthetic. “Eyes of Light,” blastbeats and all, is death metal. To be sure, much of All is Lost is. Even on the slower stretches of “Tyrant Throne” or in the penultimate plodder “‘Twas the Night,” there is a creeping-Slayer sinister feel to Helmuth‘s riff that Geisbert and Lafferty bring all the more forward through their accompanying lurch.

yatra (Photo by Nicole Strouse)

It’s not necessarily that the readjustment of priorities in Yatra‘s sound is a revolutionary act for them — I compared their last record to Carcass, doubt I was the first to do so, and even at its most primitive their output has to-date carried more than an air of bludgeoning, if at times primarily in the vocals — but it goes back to the blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar, and it’s the direct engagement with what were previously the darkest and harshest aspects of Yatra that, coupled again with the songwriting, makes All is Lost a moment of realization for the band. It is of course impossible to know now how much this one LP will define the path they follow moving forward from it as they inevitably will — or won’t, in which case the point is moot — but what Yatra forge in this material, from the title-cut all the way through the agonizing twists of “Northern Lights” at the album’s finish, is a sonic persona for themselves that rests more within its own individuality than in the conventions of genre.

That is, All is Lost is the point in their career at which Yatra have unveiled not just their best collection of tracks up to now, but a perspective through which they’re approaching the creation of those tracks in the first place. Once a band is pigeonholed as a thing, it can be nearly impossible to work against that — see “sludge upstarts” above; it just rolls off the keyboard, when in fact the record positions them as more stylistically than just sludge (nothing against sludge) and mature beyond “upstart” status — but on the back of All is LostYatra have the potential to transcend niche genre and engage a broader metal audience.

And this is why, even among the hordes of bands unable to tour in 2020, one feels all the more sympathy for Yatra. Because, instead of sitting around, unable to get on tour, they pushed ahead and made a new full-length, and in so doing managed to end up right back where they started from in January: having just put together their best work yet and still be unlikely to give it the live support it deserves. Is all lost? No. But all is ephemeral. In addition to not knowing what Yatra might do next, I’ll also cop to having no idea what the world is going to do next — nothing good, if past is prologue — but as much as the momentum the band built behind them for Death Ritual and into Blood of the Night can be sustained through releasing All is Lost, if they’re going to return to playing live with their former fervency, that momentum will need to be fed at some point.

Or maybe they just become a studio band, play the odd socially-distant gig and make that work. Again, I don’t know. Who the hell does? But today, no, all is not lost. Yatra just made their best album yet. They’ll lose some heads with it, but probably gain even more, and the viciousness of their execution is a statement unto itself that just because it can’t be hand-delivered doesn’t mean punishment isn’t to be meted out. They went back home and found themselves. It’s like the start of a rom-com, only with deathsludge riffs and talons lacing into weak flesh.

So, fucking a.

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Yatra Announce New Album All is Lost Due Oct. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

yatra (Photo by Nicole Strouse)

Yo, anyone remember January? Me neither. That was the last time I went to a show. It’s also when Maryland sludgebringers Yatra put out their second album, Blood of the Night (review here) through STB Records on Jan. 31 of this wretched year, and before 2020 is out they’ll follow it with All is Lost, a third full-length aptly titled from a band whose business model was based almost entirely around touring.

Worth noting that after releasing through STB, the trio have gone to ground, as it were, and returned to work with producer/engineer Noel Mueller and his Grimoire Records label. Mueller also issued Yatra‘s 2018 debut, Death Ritual (discussed here), so it seems like a fair enough homecoming for them as a group.

I find it interesting that Yatra via the PR wire are highlighting more psychedelic aspects to their sound. You can read about it below. I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t perhaps following the path of Zoroaster in branching out to more expansive atmospheric fare after beginning their progression from a place of raw, primitive crush. In any case, the quick quick turnaround is welcome, even if their assessment of current circumstance via the title is grim.

To the PR wire:

yatra all is lost

YATRA: Maryland Psychedelic Doom Trio Completes All Is Lost Full-Length For October Release Through Grimoire Records; Album Details And Preorders Posted

Maryland-based psychedelic doom metal trio YATRA recently finalized work on their most ambitious and devastating release to date. The band proudly offers their crushing third album, All Is Lost, now confirmed for October release through Grimoire Records, who this week issues the record’s cover art, track listing, preorders, and more.

Upon release of their acclaimed Death Ritual debut LP, released in 2018 via Grimoire Records, YATRA immediately found a secure place in the doom metal scene, providing a devastating brew of crushing musicianship backed with an equally potent element of psychedelic prowess, inciting widespread reactions from media and fans alike. The band gigged and toured heavily on the album, while work was underway on their second record, Blood Of The Night, which saw release via STB Records in early 2020. Just as the band was primed to peak with a new round of international touring, the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the globe, and alongside every other touring act worldwide, things came to a stunning halt for the band.

YATRA instantly went into full-on construction of the next phase of their journey, taking the ideas they had for the third album into a fresh dimension of instantaneous new reality. The elements of their third LP, All Is Lost, were born, and a new plan was implemented. Once the immediate lockdowns and quarantines of the virus crisis were lifted, the members of the band returned to Grimoire Records, and locked up with label/studio guru Noel Mueller to capture the new songs under the strictest social-distancing-friendly circumstances, to record the new album.

Undeniably the heaviest YATRA album to date, All Is Lost surges with nine new tracks that bring an enticing new level of quality and cohesiveness to the unit. Heavier and denser, with more vibrant psychedelic poise, All Is Lost devastates with nine new tracks that once again place the band into the upper echelons of the genre.

All Is Lost was captured at Tiny Castle between June 18th and 21st, 2020, engineered, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Noel Mueller of Grimoire Records, and completed with cover art by Paolo Girardi (Power Trip, Black Breath, Bell Witch).

YATRA’s All Is Lost will see release through Grimoire Records October 9th on CD, digital download, and in a limited vinyl run of 100 copies. Find preorders HERE: https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/all-is-lost

All Is Lost Track Listing:
1. All Is Lost
2. Winter’s Dawning
3. Tyrant Throne
4. One For The Mountain
5. Blissful Wizard
6. Talons Of Eagles
7. Eyes Of Light
8. ‘Twas The Night
9. Northern Lights

YATRA’s founder Dana Helmuth divulges, “After three US tours, a successful European tour, many major festival appearances, a great second album, and two more future US tours ahead, as well as a return to Europe being booked, our future looked bright! Then, almost overnight, everything was cancelled and shut down and all that we had worked so hard for was abruptly halted with no idea when our life would resume as we had come to know it as a touring band.

We were literally packed and loaded to head out in mid-March for the start of a cross country tour, when across the country, things started shutting down and quarantine began. After the realization sank in, and then a forced break from playing altogether, as well as our band life in general, due to proximity and difficulty traveling in quarantine, I found myself back in a similar head space I was when I wrote our first album, Death Ritual. Of course, the band has evolved, but the atmosphere of being back in the woods, in that old house again, coupled with the darkness and fear in the world with everything so grim…

With what seemed like no hope for the future of mankind on earth, I started writing this album, All Is Lost, and it flowed out very naturally. With that return to nature and the dark spiritual introspection that follows, it seemed only natural to return to Noel [Mueller, of Grimoire Records] to record this album, back where we started, and I think that comes through strongly in this record. It was important for me to record this as soon as possible, during this time of the virus. Where on our earlier albums we flirted with subtle musical influences in different subgenres of Heavy Metal, we now fully embrace those sounds, and have become them.”

YATRA completed four US tours in 2019 alone, including Monolith On The Mesa, Electric Funeral, SXSW, New England Doom Fest, Grim Reefer, and Descendants Of Crom, as well as a three week European tour including performances for huge audiences at Desertfest Belgium, Hostsabbat, Into The Void, and Setalite among others. YATRA has shared the stage with Sleep, Eyehategod, Uada, Torche, Om, Conan, Big Business, Nebula, and countless others.

Now in 2020, when touring is one element in a questionable future, YATRA delivers their second album of the year with a monolithic statement of not slowing down.

YATRA:
Dana Helmuth – guitars/vocals
Maria Geisbert – bass
Sean Lafferty – drums

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Yatra, Blood of the Night (2020)

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The Swell Fellas Stream The Great Play of Extension EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on April 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the swell fellas

Ocean City, Maryland, three-piece The Swell Fellas will issue their new EP, The Great Play of Extension, this coming Friday, April 17. Comprised of just three tracks, the offering runs a not-insubstantial 26 minutes and brings forth hypnotic breadth at the behest of spacious guitar and echoing vocals floating out over molten basslines and laid back drums on opener “Placebo,” the everybody-sings-at-one-point-or-another trio of guitarist Conner Poole, drummer Chris Poole (let’s just assume they’re related), and bassist Mark Rohrer throwing a bit of mathier angularity in “Acid Tone” while keeping the psychedelic fervor of the lead cut, and rounding out with the decidedly prog rocking “Scatterbrain,” which if it didn’t dedicate its last two minutes to drifting into oblivion, would be almost intimidatingly clear-headed. Running nearly 12 minutes long, “Scatterbrain” is obviously a focal point of The Great Play of Extension — which itself follows The Swell Fellas‘ likewise-self-awarely-titled debut LP, The Big Grand Entrance, which was released in January — and whether these are tracks left off that release or songs recorded in another session with co-producer/mixer Ben McLeod (best known as the guitarist for All Them Witches) with mastering by Mikey Allred (Across Tundras, All Them Witches, etc.), they each present a different aspect of the band’s sound, soaring between instrumental crescendos and intricate meditations.

The mix puts Conner‘s guitar forward, and that’s nothing to complain about, but if you had any doubt as to his and Chris‘ last names being the result of familial relation, the established-seeming chemistry between the guitar and drums speaks to the two having been playing together for longer than, say, the last year or two as the debut album and this release came together. To the same end, Rohrer‘s bass fits gracefully and fluidly the swell fellas The Great Play of Extensioninto the progressions of “Placebo,” and the low end serves not only to reinforce the drum punctuation, but to add character and depth to the guitar as well. They are, then, a power trio. Fair enough. But it’s not just about the bass and drums locking in a groove while the guitar goes a-wanderin’, either. “Acid Tone” shifts into a pastoralism for a few measures born out of traditionalist psychedelic rock before returning to its central push, and it’s that kind of complexity that makes these songs so well suited to the EP format — each one standing out in a way that might be lost or subsumed in a full-length context. It’s worth noting that “Scatterbrain” and “Placebo” (8:22) are also longer than anything that appeared on The Big Grand Entrance, so whether that speaks to some kind of departure there, I can’t say without further investigation, though The Great Play of Extension certainly warrants and invites that.

And as much as that dynamic between the band members feels set, there is a corresponding sense of The Swell Fellas feeling out ideas and different methods to find what’s working best in (and as) their sound. It’s the way of such things generally that one side wins out over another, but in the best of cases, a group is able to bring together the angles they forge in their early work as a fuller realization of a new, individualized identity. Frankly I hear nothing in The Swell Fellas‘ sound that would make me think that couldn’t do precisely that. They have an obvious attention to detail and aesthetic and are able to convey a sense of technicality without coming across as any more indulgent than their songs want them to be. They were due to tour this month to promote The Great Play of Extension and The Big Grand Entrance, but of course that would require gathering at least three people in room, so that’s out (even though two are relatives), and one only hopes they reschedule as soon as possible, because where that fusion of elements in their sound is going to happen is on stage, and they are very clearly interested in continuing the evolution in their sound that’s obviously already in progress.

So go for it, I say.

You can stream The Great Play of Extension in its entirety below. Some quick comment from the band and more info follows.

Please enjoy:

The Swell Fellas on The Great Play of Extension:

In the midst of our 2019 fall tour we were invited to TN to record with Ben after working for a couple months on The Big Grand Entrance together. The Church where we recorded has this huge room that brought forth an amazing sound and energy, and it enabled us to track all of the instrumentation live. The bulk of our writing process happens while jamming together, so recording the EP in this environment felt really natural. This EP is a compilation of songs that stem straight from the way our minds tend to pace around during times of change and unease, while continuing to hold onto complete focus throughout the ride. Past the lyrics, we took that idea into the instrumentation by meditating on certain parts and letting the songs be as they were intended to be on that October day in The Church. These songs are extremely special to us, and we’re psyched to premiere them here with you.

The Swell Fellas are a psych rock trio out of Ocean City, MD. Following the January release of their debut full length, The Big Grand Entrance, they are gearing up for an independent release of a new EP, The Great Play of Extension.

The Great Play of Extension was recorded at The Church outside of Nashville, TN by Ben McLeod, who also mixed the EP and the band’s debut album. Mastering by Mikey Allred at Dark Art Audio.

The Swell Fellas are:
Conner Poole // Guitar and Vocals
Chris Poole // Drums and Vocals
Mark Rohrer // Bass and Vocals

The Swell Fellas website

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Dirt Woman Set March 13 Release for The Glass Cliff; Premiere “Lady of the Dunes”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Dirt-Woman_Photo-by-Kira-Solomon

Ocean City, Maryland, four-piece Dirt Woman make their full-length debut through Grimoire Records on March 13 with the five-track collection The Glass Cliff. Riffs? Hell’s bells, it’s like they live in a riffy valley between two riff mountains cut by a river of riffs where they subsist on riffy agriculture and have enough left over to make a tidy living exporting them to other, less riffy regions. The nod runs strong throughout their massive, Noel Mueller-captured grooves, with guitarist/vocalist Zoe Koch and guitarist Gabe Solomon at the forefront of the surging tonal tide, pushed forward by the tectonic lumber of Kearny Mallon‘s bass and Avery Mallon‘s steady rolling drums. Shades of Acid King riding the electric machine and just a touch of Windhand-style foggy atmospherics make themselves felt throughout cuts like “Lady of the Dunes” and the joyously plodding “Creator” — one of the three cuts to top 13 minutes in length, along with the closing duo of “Demagogue” (13:30) and “Starhawk” (13:45) — which also finds Avery‘s drums in its later reaches looking to the rays of the red sun that was Chris Hakius‘ work in Sleep. In other words, it’s a all a big fuck yes in my book.

Amid Koch‘s cavernous vocals come tales of modern disparities and the disaffection one might also see portrayed on the cover art for The Glass Cliff by Hayden Hall, which turns wealth inequality into the stuff of science-fiction without really departing the truth of our age. Songs like “Fades to Greed,” the eight-minute centerpiece, find Dirt Woman exploring these ideas lyrically, but the power of their presentation is such that should one be seeking escape and/or hypnotic immersion, that’s certainly a route available. That is, there’s no sacrifice of modus to message, and the band is more than a vehicle for political editorializing — though, frankly, the heavy underground is pretty content to disengage a lot of the time and maybe some editorializing would do it some good — while still addressing the concerns of those inheriting a planet that’s pretty much screwed on multiple levels. But hey, at least… it’s… easy to buy stuff? Sorry y’all.

The Glass Cliff has the honor of being my first entry on what throughout the next 12 months will become my list of 2020’s best debut albums, and while those familiar with either Mueller‘s production work or the outlet for it that Grimoire Records is shouldn’t be the least bit surprised at the organic fuzz molasses that oozes from the bass in “Demagogue,” that does nothing to make it less glorious. For a record that runs 56 minutes long and borders on unmanageable, it holds the listener rapt as “Starhawk” rounds out in bounding fashion, its central riff touching on Witch-y bounce as Koch layers vocals effectively in such a way as to make one already look forward to what Dirt Woman do next two months before their first album actually comes out. Yeah, I’m gonna have to see this band live. Gonna have to get this CD. I might need to buy a t-shirt. They got me on this one. Count me in.

Along with the album announcement, which you’ll find below courtesy of the PR wire, you’ll find the premiere of “Lady of the Dunes” at the bottom of this post. Please consider it strongly suggested that you dig in.

And, of course, that you enjoy:

dirt woman the glass cliff

DIRT WOMAN: Maryland Psychedelic Doom Bringers To Release The Glass Cliff Via Grimoire Records; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Maryland psychedelic doom bringers DIRT WOMAN will release their The Glass Cliff debut full-length this March via Grimoire Records.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in the fall of 2019 by Noel Mueller at the Tiny Castle in Baltimore, The Glass Cliff’s five tracks bulge with gargantuan riffs, thundering rhythms, and lyrics speaking directly to the cries of today’s youth; a fittingly titled record that’s equal parts enraged and dejected by a world whose once great promise has been decimated by the pursuit of power and material wealth.

DIRT WOMAN’s The Glass Cliff comes swathed in the trippy cover renderings of Hayden Hall and will be released on limited edition CD and digital formats March 13th. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.

Forged in Ocean City, Maryland in the summer of 2017 as a duo featuring vocalist/guitarist Zoe Koch and drummer Gabe Solomon, DIRT WOMAN is named in honor of the late Donnie Corker. Better known as Dirtwoman, Corker was a cross-dresser living in Richmond, Virginia known for involvement in Richmond politics, arts, music, and food banks as well as being the human floral arrangement of the annual Hamaganza holiday rock ‘n’ roll charity benefit show that, for twenty-years had paired Dirtwoman with a revolving cast of politicians, luminaries, and journalists.

“His story was truly inspiring to us,” notes Koch. “His charitable work and activism make him forever an icon in our eyes.” Koch and Solomon wrote casually and played sporadic shows. By the spring of 2018, they expanded their lineup to include bassist Kearny Mallon and his twin brother, drummer Avery Mallon, shifting Solomon to guitar. With the twin rhythm section and a dual guitar attack, their thick, quaking sound had truly begun to shape itself into what would become The Glass Cliff.

“The Glass Cliff” was recorded between October and December of 2019 by Noel Mueller in the Tiny Castle. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller. Cover art by Hayden Hall. © 2020 Grimoire Records.

“The Glass Cliff” is released via limited edition CD and digital download through Grimoire Records on 3/13/20.

1. Lady of the Dunes – 07:23
2. Creator – 13:08
3. Fades to Greed – 08:25
4. Demagogue – 13:30
5. Starhawk – 13:45

DIRT WOMAN:
Avery Mallon – drums
Kearny Mallon – the big guitar
Zoe Koch – guitar, vocals
Gabe Solomon- guitar

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Dirt Woman, “Lady of the Dunes” official premiere

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Review & Track Premiere: Yatra, Blood of the Night

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on December 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

yatra blood of the night

[Click play above to stream ‘Carrion’ from Yatra’s new album, Blood of the Night, out Jan. 31 digital and Feb. 1 vinyl through STB Records.]

A release in winter suits Maryland trio Yatra, for whom images of red splatter on snow, grey skies, dark nights and raging winds seem only too appropriate. Plus, perhaps, the occasional battle axe. Only a year after crashing the gate and plundering the greater consciousness of the sludge underground — such as it is — with their Grimoire Records debut album, Death Ritual (discussed here), and several US tours and an initial incursion to European shores later, the marauding three-piece return. Now signed to STB Records, they issue Blood of the Night in a host of limited vinyl editions in keeping with the label’s tradition, and thereby hone the bleak, violent, extreme metal-derived intensity of their sound to a new, even sharper focus. Blood of the Night runs for eight tracks and shows no interest in hiding its malevolent purpose, as Yatra careen and lumber between a post-High on Fire medieval deathbringing and neo-primitive riffs that tap into root, essential-in-the-sense-of-essence nod, stripped of unnecessary frills and brought to bear with the harsh-throated screams of guitarist Dana Helmuth.

Their plodding and slog comes through regardless of actual tempo, with bassist Maria Geisbert and drummer Sean Lafferty complementing Helmuth‘s riffs and searing incantations as well as establishing their own presence in the low end and the significant roll each song seems to elicit from the beginning of opener “Sorcerer” onward. Cuts like “The Howling” and “Blood Will Flow” aren’t nearly as slow-paced as some of their counterparts — looking at you, “After the Ravens” — and in some of that speedier material especially, Yatra reveal influences beyond doom and into other forms of perhaps more aggressive metals. I’ve said before that I can’t help but hear mid-’90s Carcass in their sound, and I stand by that. Yatra seem to have found the balance of heft and bite which so many complained Swansong lacked after 1993’s brilliant Heartwork, and as far as I’m concerned, if you’re putting out records that hold up to that standard, as Blood of the Night does, you’re doing something very, very right.

But put the emphasis on “bite.” Gnashing, really. And it’s not just Helmuth‘s vocals either. The guitar line in the chorus of “After the Ravens” — a standout in its hook and also as the longest inclusion at 7:39; Yatra‘s longest track to-date, though the penultimate “Three Moons” here also tops seven minutes — creeps along with an eerie threat, and in its tone, it is a perfect match to the nodule-building vocal delivery. The same can be said of the bass and drums, though for much of the album — recorded July 12-15, 2019, at Developing Nations in Baltimore by Kevin Bernsten and mastered by the esteemed James Plotkin — the riffs set the patterns followed by all. Still, in the mid-paced second track “Carrion” or in side B’s plundering “Burning Vision,” which veers in its second half into a layered solo that makes it something of a highlight for the sheer feeling of noise and chaos contained therein, it is very much a full-band impact being made, and as Blood of the Night progresses through its front-to-back run, that turns out to be the key component of it.

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Yatra made an impressive debut, and the follow-up arrives on a quick turnaround all the more considering it’s not like those tracks were sitting around for years before they came out and the new one was essentially put to tape between tours, but if there’s urgency, they use it well. It feeds not only into the forwardness of their aesthetic — have I mentioned they’re not subtle? — and gives material like “The Howling” an extra edge of command, which with Helmuth‘s voice gurgling through a charging riff makes their take so much richer than a simple blend of black metal and sludge or of heavy tones and extreme metal vibe. Blood of the Night affirms what Death Ritual first heralded, which is that Yatra are a band interested in not just presenting these ideas to an audience — regularly, if their schedule is anything to go by — but also in taking the elements that inspire them and making them their own; in carving, or melding, or chipping away, or molding, chainsawing, machete-ing, or simply crafting them by whatever means necessary into what they want them to be. Blood of the Night accomplishes this at the same time it pushes Yatra‘s songwriting to a new level, and for that it feels even more significant.

This is another place where “After the Ravens” serves as example, and not just because of its chorus. It’s true of lurching, mega-nodding closer “Surrender” as well, and “The Howling” earlier and plenty of others throughout that Yatra show little interest in sacrificing song for style’s sake. That is, as much as Blood of the Night is an aesthetically sure work, it’s also a showcase of the progression in Yatra‘s ability to write memorable material. The structures underlying all that viciousness, all that sharpened-fang gnash, are firm enough to contain the madness that ensues, and that plays a large role in the album’s overall success. It’s the difference between Yatra being fully capable of wielding their sound like the weapon they do and floundering at the mercy of their own aggression. I don’t know if that’s a self-awareness they’ve purely gleaned from their time on the road, but they clearly have a sense of what works in their material, even if the standard they’re working with is “what feels right” for them.

As they claw their way through “Three Moons” ahead of “Surrender,” the risks they take are there beneath the surface, but their grip on their sound is unyielding, and their confidence is justified not only by what they’ve done to that point on the album, but what they’ll do on the subsequent finale. The story of Death Ritual was that of a band loaded with potential working hard to realize that. The story of Blood of the Night remains in some contexts to be written, but what’s without question is that it builds on the achievements of its predecessor and conveys in no uncertain terms that Yatra‘s intent to conquer is unwavering. I’ll say it as plainly as I can: if Relapse Records isn’t already eyeing them, they’re dropping the ball. What Yatra‘s impact on the heavy underground and the wider sphere of metal will be is still unknown, but the fact that they bridge that gap so organically on Blood of the Night makes them even more lethal than they already were. And if there’s a running theme for Yatra to this point in their career, “lethal” might be it.

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