Thursday 17 January 2019

YATRA ~ DEATH RITUAL .... review

Desert Psychlist thinks if your a fan of Sleep and are drawn towards the stoneric blackish doom of Sweden's Ordos then its a pretty safe bet that the thick slow to mid-tempo growling grooves of Maryland's Yatra will be, as we say in England,  right up your street. Yatra, Maria Geisbert (bass), Mike Tull (drums) and Dana Helmuth (guitar/vocals), write songs that deal in fantasy and mythology and decorate them in thick droning bass and guitar tones anchored by crushing heavy pounding percussion around which they weave gravel thick, almost spoken, vocal tones, something you can check out for yourselves by taking their debut release "Death Ritual" (Grimoire Records) for a spin.

Desert Psychlist is not going to pretend that the type of vocals performed by Yatra's Dana Helmuth on "Death Ritual" are something we regularly tend to seek out in our grooves but you really could not imagine the devilishly dense and delicious eight grooves that make up the bands new album working without them, Helmuth's deep gravel thick tones are the perfect fit for the thick doomic refrains and pummelling beats that surrounded them and add a pleasing, if somewhat disturbing, sinister edge to proceedings. A big shout out here should go out to the recording and mixing skills of Noel Mueller, the man behind the desk has done a sterling job of giving "Death Ritual" a huge thick dense sound while still retaining the clarity of each individual instrument and of course those vocals. "Death Ritual" is an album strewn with highlights and there is honestly not a weak track to be found on the album but if the push came to the shove and Desert Psychlist had to choose a favourite then it would be to a toss up between the two ebony gems sitting side by side in the albums centre, "Snakes In The Temple" with its wah drenched guitar motifs, and "Smoke Is Rising" a song so heavy it should carry a government health warning,

Yatra's "Death Ritual" is an album that you will either love or hate, there is no sitting on the fence with these guys you either get what they are bringing to the table or you don't, Desert Psychlist is most definitely sitting on the "get" side of the fence but you will have to make your own minds up
Check it out …..

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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