Friday, December 11, 2015

Yellow Eyes : "Sick With Bloom"

This New York based black metal band now boasts the drummer from Fell Voices. They are not unlike Fell Voices and Ash Borer in the manner they bring a sonic burst to their blast beaten path. Vocally things are in a higher pitched choked screamed that is very black metal , it's really the guitar tone to this album that gives the their signature sound. They do not employ the typical metallic distortion, and opt for a more Liturgy like ringing. Overall their sound is rawer than Liturgy. The overall attack holds more in common with traditional black metal, where with Liturgy even that is something to be toyed with.  Their sound alone keeps me invested in the first song , but then comes the dreaded question many a extreme meta bands fears...what else can you do.

Blast beats start off "Streaming From the Undergrowth" leaving it on a similar trajectory as the opener. The tempo change is pretty color by numbers for this style of black metal making the dynamic shift only marginal. "What Filters Through the Copper Stain" is a few degrees darker. It helps that they don't rush off into blast beats. Not that this urge is resisted for long, but long enough to let you know this is a different song. The guitar has a slight shade of melody to it hidden in the din. They use clean guitar as an outro once the song is finished, but it would have proved more interesting to me if they could have down in as a working part of the song. "The Mangrove, the Preserver" kicks off with yet another blast. The blast beat is starting to become the element that gives them a monochrome sound. The screaming becomes something that is obligatory rather than something adding more than a static layer of  organic white noise to the song. They change beats and slow down and it does wonders for the song. This eventually flows into a more melodic passage that gives a more sweeping sensation. Once again cleaner atmospheric tones come in to transition out of the song rather than being employed in the song.

At this point it almost goes without saying that blast beats are going to start off "Fallen Snag". But at a minute in they transition out of this in a slowed more chilling section. They guitar doe some interesting things until a Krallice like flourish kicks things back into the maelstrom again. There is more of the post-rock waver in the tone to the guitar of " Ice In the Spring". The feral howl of the vocals seems more distant, over the expected blast beats. There are some slight deviations that veer from the blast beat, but keep the tempo brisk. Some melodic atmosphere is dipped into and tries to shine through the wall of white noise being droned on. Then everything fades down to leave the final two minutes with atmospheric noise and clean guitar, like a few of the other songs have ended so this is not a really a creative breakthrough on their part here. They capture some cool sounds, some songs have more creative moments than others, I think this is an improvement for this band and the new drummer works well with them it's just too one dimensional for me most of the time and has an over reliance on blast beats so I'll give it a 7, but if you don't ask to much from you American black metal then round it up.


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