Thursday, November 08, 2012

Yakuza: Beyul (2012)

Horns of Metal

Guest review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

The saxophone is not a metal instrument, or so my thinking went. The first time I ever heard a saxophone at a concert was also the first time I saw a middle aged homemaker sitting down eating nachos at a concert. That was a Bruce Springsteen concert. I was totally perplexed by the nachos and unmoved by the saxophone.

So I was fully prepared to not like Yakuza, a saxophone wielding metal outfit that had been labled as "avant-garde metal" by some. I just couldn't imagine what it was going to sound like. Well, it sounds good, saxophone included.

The band burst out of the gate with "Oil and Water," a thrashy, saxophone laced totally metal song. The don't let up with the "Last Day" which moves but doesn't meander. The sax adds to the mood here in the same way an acoustic guitar would. The song climaxes in some good old fashioned thrash thunder. The end result of this and the other songs on the album is a sound that is both familiar but new. It's difficult to do that in metal, as we metal fans know what we want and we want it how we want it. The sax offers a nice and unexpected change.

November 6 was the birthday of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax. I think he'd approve of its use by Yakuza. I do too.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy Beyul

FMA note: I personally haven't cared for Yakuza in the past. Bloodiest (featuring a member of Yakuza), on the other hand, makes the kind of music I wish I could. Maybe this is worth a shot.


  1. When I saw these guys live they put on one hell of a passionate show, which made them more interesting and memorable live than the other bands that I actually like better.

  2. @ Apteronotus. That passion comes through on this album. It's one of the reason the album works.