Yautja: Songs of Descent
Yautja is a three-piece band from Nashville, Tennessee—America's Music City! Sure, they're not the only heavy band from that area—bands like Across Tundras and Sky Burial have shown us the heavier side of that town already—but they are one of the newest.
With this album, their debut, Yautja offers listeners fourteen fast, sludgy, and aggressive tracks. I was especially impressed with the heavy back end on this album. The tracks here pull listeners down to the lowest notes and beats, as though the real music takes place there. Better still, this band, like other three-piece outfits, sound bigger, better, and louder than groups with more members. I've never understood how trios do it, but they often manage to produce fuller sound than other, bigger, bands.
The band members describe their sound as gnarled grind / death metal. I'm not sure what they mean by gnarled grind—to my ears, this is a sludge-fest that remembers what punk rock used to sound like. I don't recall if sludgecore is a thing—but this is something more like that than grind.
I was especially impressed with the sound quality on this album. Sludge albums don't always have such a clear low end, but this one, as I mentioned above, takes listeners right to the floor. I was fond of tracks like "Tar and Blindness" and "Of Descent"; the former had a cool bass introduction, the kind that reminded me, if only for a moment, of the glory days of hardcore punk; the latter opens with a sludgy riff / bend that was as heavy as anything I've heard lately. I also really enjoyed the killer groove of "A Crawl." From the opening bass / drum jam to the riffy groove of the guitar, that track added a little more playfulness to this album, something that I sometimes missed. The rest of the album is plenty good, but it occasionally drags. It isn't boring, mind you, just somewhat exhausting.
Ultimately, this is an impressive debut album from a band that already has the chops of sludge masters.
1. Path of Descent
4. Concrete Tongue
5. Tar and Blindness
7. Faith Resigned
8. Path to Ground
9. An Exit
10. A Crawl
11. Of Descent
13. A Cleansing Fire
Added: April 9th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
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