Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Yautja - Songs of Descent (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 4/2/2014
Label : Forcefield Records

Songs of Descent, album track listing :
1). Path of Descent
2). Denihilist
3). Blinders
4). Concrete Tongue
5). Tar and Blindness
6). Teeth
7). Faith Resigned
8). Path to Ground
9). An Exit
10). A Crawl
11). Of Descent
12). Humility-Humanity
13). A Cleansing Fire
14). Chemical

Bio :

Featuring members of Coliseum, Gnarwhal, Nameless Cults and more, and hailing from the filthy underbelly of “Music City,” YAUTJA forges a potent mix of death metal, grind, and hardcore. Started in Nashville, Tennessee in January 2010 by vocalist/guitarist Shibby Poole and drummer/vocalist Tyler Coburn, the band began playing shows locally, released a live tape that August, and did some touring with then bassist Trey Stallings. In October 2010, bassist/vocalist Kayhan Vaziri joined the band, and in 2011, YAUTJA released a five-song EP, titled 2011, on Nashville-based label Tapes of a Neon God, which was followed by an East Coast tour. 2012 saw the band release a split 7” with Enabler, as well as complete a tour of the Southeast U.S.

Entitled Songs Of Descent, YAUTJA's debut album presents the band’s ultra-intense metallic, grind-infused, tone-heavy hardcore aggression with thunderous, organic recording attributes, captured at Dark Art Studios with Mikey Allred (Inter Arma, Accross Tundras, Hellbender). Burning down everything in earshot with fourteen hook-laden crushers in just over thirty-seven minutes, Forcefield Records will release Songs Of Descent on LP and digitally in early February 2014; the digital version mastered by Mikey Allred and the vinyl mastered by Zack Allen of Obsidian Eye Studios (Loss, Recluse, Sky Burial).

The Band :

Shibby Poole | Guitars, Vocals
Tyler Coburn | Drums, Vocals
Kayhan Vaziri | Bass, Vocals

Review :

Sometimes, things can be too clean-cut, too clinical.  Sometimes you need to get dirty.  Maybe even filthy.  And here is where Nashville’s Yautja come in.  Grimier than a peat bog bath, murkier than a week-old laundry basket, these guys have made an album so grim, so gripping, I couldn’t help but become totally immersed in their sludgy concoction of riffs and rage.  After all, the album’s called ‘Songs of Descent’, and I felt like getting dragged down to their eerily brilliant depths.  And I get the feeling all those who listen to this will feel the same way, too. 

For starters, this is one hell of a big album: fourteen tracks of raw, ravaging sonic anger that grinds at your flesh and rends your eardrums asunder.  Yautja’s riffs are fuzzy, frenzied and unrelenting; each of the three members shares vocal duties too, which just enforces just how intense this collective is when it comes to crafting dark music.  The playing style itself is loose and very punky, slamming chords and riffs hitting your speakers like a set of tattooed knuckles.  One set says ‘FUCK’; the other ‘YOU’. 

If you want a comparison to other bands out there, I’d say Yautja were quite like Nails: a bit rougher, a little bit filthier, but still with that sinister groove and malicious musical intent.  They also have that Melvins brand of oozing riffery, which makes for very potent musical alchemy.  Check out the track ‘Of Descent’ and feel the pounding drums of Tyler Coburn fairly smash your teeth in, as Shibby Poole’s guitar and Kayhan Vaziri’s bass put the boot in to your prone and twitching form, and see what I mean.  This song is the monolith of the album, over five minutes of snarling distortion and vicious vocals.  Once it comes to its feedback-scorched ending, you’ll have felt like a bulldozer has rumbled its way over you.  Yep.  That kind of heavy. 

In fact, each of these fourteen terror tracks is an example of crushing sludge at its most filthy.  ‘Denihilist’ is a shouting affair of bar-room brawl metal, ‘Teeth’ rocks and rolls like a ship caught in  razorblade storm, and ‘Humility – Humanity’ is a downright ball breaker of a song, designed to make you listen in open-mouthed awe at the brutal spectacle.  And these instances I’ve highlighted for you are only the tip of this iceberg of sludge: it’s up to you to delve to the depths and discover a treasure of your own. 

In short, this is an album of grime, hardcore, doom, and discovery.  Yautja is a band of purpose: their music is bold, uncompromising, and deliciously dark.  If you feel like your metal life has been too ordered of late, take a walk on the wild side and succumb to the ‘Songs of Descent’. 

Words by : Chris Markwell

You can buy it here

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