Yakuza’s sixth album, Beyul, is a hectic, hallucinogenic drag race through freeway traffic, filled with sudden lurches, rapid acceleration, dangerous spin outs, brake screeches and frustrated noisy idling. It’s a dizzying exercise in queasy chaos, consistent for about a minute at a time before peeling off in another direction. Like 2010′s Of Seismic Consequence, Beyul eschews Yakuza’s early death-metal vocals and rhythms, veering in ever-more unpredictable directions. Much of the album is rooted in prog, post-metal and psychedelic doom, bringing to mind bands like Neurosis, Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan. Roiling turmoil aside, there are some structured songs: “Mouth of the Lion” locks into an angular but consistent groove, and “Lotus Array” opens onto a vista of tribal beats, layered, melodic saxophones and sedated vocals before spiraling into spikier paths. As entrancing as their droning, mystical moments can be, Yakuza are at their best when they freefall, defying and destroying sonic conventions on their way to paths unknown.
By Jon Wiederhorn on 11.25.14 in Reviews
Over the past two decades, Japanese extreme noise maestro Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) has recorded live and studio albums with experimental acts like Mike Patton, Atari Teenage Riot, Melt Banana and, perhaps most notably,...
By Marc Hogan on 11.07.14 in News
Unconventional album release strategies are all the rage these days, but Old Man Gloom have hit upon an approach that's still novel. The metal band — formed by members of Isis, Converge, Cave In and Zozobra — announced a...
By Grayson Haver Currin on 08.19.14 in Reviews
Imagine the expectations that have trailed Pallbearer since 2012. That's the year that the Arkansas doom metal quartet debuted with Sorrow & Extinction, an urgent espousal of most everything great about the low-lit, low-...
By Laina Dawes on 08.11.14 in Features
Laina Dawes talks with bassist Joseph D. Rowland about touring and magical realism.