Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yautja: Songs of Descent (2014)

Category Resistance

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

The metal CDs at Rasputin in Berkeley are separated into no less than five separate categories: progressive metal; thrash/crossover; death/grind/deathcore/metalcore; doom/stoner; and heavy/power metal. This leads to some confusion on my part, not least because I am not that bright. It also leads to some incongruities. Mastodon is categorized with Dream Theater. Vastum just a few artists away from Unearth. DRI is nowhere to be found in "Thrash/Crossover" (check the Punk section!). It's an ungainly system and pity the poor employee who has to display Yautja's Songs of Descent. I sure wouldn't know how to categorize it.

Is it grind? But now it's slow and heavy. It's definitely sludge. Wait, there's movement. It's progressive! Maybe it's progressive grind sludge. Who knows. I may just be an unfrozen caveman lawyer metal reviewer, and Berkeley's categories frighten and confuse me. But I do know this. When I listen to Songs of Descent, I'm not longer confused. I am not frightened. I know that Yautja's release deserves not several million dollars in punitive damages but some time in your earbuds. You will not be disappointed. Drummers will delight in the Mastodon-esque fills and licks. Headbangers will sludge their necks back and forth. Grinders will be frenetic. All without sacrificing songcraft. "Of Descent" is a great starting point for the uninitiated. If you like this you'll like the rest of the album. Minor criticisms include length. A not readily apparent structuring to the songs, except that the end does reel the listener back in. Critical that the last song makes you want to push play again. Check. "Chemical" is indeed a "Cleansing Fire".

Maybe there should be a section at Rasputin for "Records that Kick Ass", "Records Will Knock Your Ass to the Floor" and "Records that Will Blow You Into the Next Municipality". That might make searching a little easier. Yaujta would not fit into that latter category, but it'd be a small section, no doubt, and personal. But it probably lands in the first and maybe even the second.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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