Monday, 25 May 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Yarrow, "We Made What God Could Not"

By: Josh McIntyre

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/05/2020
Label: Independent

“We Made What God Could Not” CS//DD track listing:

1). 活け造り
2). Old Shadows
3). In Shade, I Expire
4). Oceans of Rot

The Review:

Doom metal in general is a tricky subgenre to play in. It takes real talent and taste to keep it interesting, especially when tracks reach the ten minute mark. Yarrow, with their second full length, have proven themselves one of the better bands at it. The Bay Area band has an excellent sense of how to make their songs flow, even when they feature the same riff idea stretched out. They know how to layer parts on top and beneath each other so that instead of stagnation we feel more like riders on a river at the mercy of the water’s course.

We can call this death-doom though it is a bit sludgier than most (death-sludge?). The tone overall is just utterly bleak. In fact this is one of the most miserable sounding albums I’ve heard in 2020 so far. Everything sounds HUGE and the guitars just bleed filth. The addition of keys and swirling noise in certain sections is especially spectacular in adding to the atmosphere. There’s even an acoustic guitar that breaks through over distorted doom, reminding me of Corrupted’s later material. Beyond that, all three members take turns on vocal duties giving us multiple voices full of agony. Whereas other bands hop along genre lines to keep interest, Yarrow more or less stays within the same musical plane while doing all they can to move the parts around. 

Yes, Yarrow also dives into more uptempo death metal sections as is typical for death-doom but they do it much more tastefully than most. The songs still make sense as they transition instead of sounding like they just copy/pasted an OSDM riff into a slow song. Besides being suffocating, these riffs are just killer and far from generic. 

This is without a doubt a must listen to fans of the slow and heavy, especially if they like a bit of misery. Yarrow comes across as a mix of traditional death-doom like Disembowelment with sludgier bands like Body Void and Monarch. Tonally, I don’t think this album could have sounded anymore perfect for what it wants to achieve. It’s seriously perfect, mix and everything. It is a huge improvement over their debut, which already made me a fan when I discovered them last year. This might end up being one of my favorite heavy albums of the year, so far a little known gem that deserves every bit of attention that it receives. 

“We Made What God Could Not” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook