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Yatra: All is Lost

Yatra took everyone by surprise when they announced that All is Lost, their third full length album, would come out in the same year as their second album, Blood of the Night. But since that album appeared all the way back in January, a time when 2020 still seemed hopeful and fresh, it’s nice to get something that was actually created in our strange new circumstance. When the world went sideways, Yatra saw an opportunity. They took to the studio in June and recorded this album in just a few days. The result is a giant of an album, easily the band’s best so far. With any luck, we’ll be able to catch Yatra on the road in 2021.

For the most part, this album builds on the band’s earlier work, though it’s fair to say the music is generally tighter and more developed. The band’s three members, Dana Helmuth (guitars and vocals), Maria Geisbert (bass), and Sean Lafferty (drums), have always played well together, but with each new release they’ve demonstrated a maturity other bands lack. Helmuth, the band’s primary songwriter, has an impressive knack for coming up with strong riffs and then building on them in ways that lend variety to everything. One of the cool things about this band is the way they grab elements of black metal or even thrash metal without ever losing their sludgy foundation. Helmuth also brings a strikingly bluesy quality to his guitar solos that will surely draw comparisons to Tony Iommi. But don’t overlook the Hendrix-inspired playing that occasionally shows up here. I hear it most clearly near the end of “Talons of Eagles” when he plays some intervals lovingly drawn from “All Along the Watchtower.” Although it’s fun to point out those little influences, it’s even better to recognize that Yatra is having fun developing their own sound.

Other highlights on this album are, “Blissful Wizard,” “All is Lost,” and “’Twas the Night.” The title track opens the album with a frenzied bit of tremolo picking that eventually leads to the vocal declaration that “All is Lost.” Things then speed up and shift in ways that reinforce the point�"we are surrounded by trouble and our footing is unstable. “Blissful Wizard” takes the opposite approach. That track opens with a soothing and smooth sitar passage that makes it easy to imagine a moment of peace. But that peace is fleeting. The guitar and bass quickly double up on a riff that carries us along. This is one of the album’s best tracks. I especially loved the way it developed its main riff in the moments just before its understated solo. “’Twas the Night,” like “Blissful Wizard,” opens with a little peace. In this case, we get to hear a solo classical guitar working out a few arpeggios. As with the other tracks, though, the calm is soon broken by an influx of sludge and urgency. If you like any of these tracks, you’ll also enjoy “Talons of Eagles,” another clear highlight on this release.

This is a strong release from a band that clearly has a bright future. The music manages to be heavy and catchy while also sticking to the power of sludge. Don’t forget to take a good look at the cover art. There’s a monster just waiting to get a look at you. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. All is Lost
2. Winter’s Dawning
3. Tyrant Throne
4. One for the Mountain
5. Blissful Wizard
6. Talons of Eagles
7. Eyes of Light
8. ‘Twas the Night
9. Northern Lights

Added: December 16th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 675
Language: english

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