Artist: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan
Record Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
Music from an experimental art collective always raises a cursory eyebrow. Will this body of work by Yamantaka//Sonic Titan be an indulgent romp through throat singing and nose flute solos or will there be actual “songs”? Well, with YT//ST, the experimentalists have trodden the fine line between ostentatious go-nowhere meanderings merged with the odd prog noodle, and monstrous forays into discordant noise-scapes.
The album, YT//ST can almost be carved up into a noisier side and a more free-form direction. The album flickers in with ‘Raccoon Song’ which positions the listener in a storm like setting, the sound of running water is coupled with doom like thunder rolls making for a tense but atmospheric beginning. From here, the ensemble’s latest effort sashays into an ethereal stance with ‘Queens’ and ‘Oak of Guernica’ sounding sonically tepid, only with the latter slipping into a jerky, math style breakdown during the songs finale. All the endless, abstract noise motifs and disconnected vocals makes YT//ST an isolated experience from the off, you get the impressions there’s something tangible waiting amongst the murk, biding its time but the layers of static appear to dilute any real impact. ‘Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider’ attempts to combine a more abrasive leaning to the group’s avant-garde schtick but this is then dampened by aloof, muted vocals.
If the band’s new body of work hinted at a more aggressive side with ‘Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider’, the last two behemoths absolutely tear the aforementioned song to shreds, presumably Sonic Titan has been released from its cage to unleash all kinds of terror with the albums riotous finale. Gone are the ambient musings and in it’s place dissonant shards of pure evil, ‘A Star Of Pureland’ and ‘Crystal Fortress Over A Sea Of Trees’ harness a malevolent snarl, one that drills and grinds with apocalyptic tendencies.
Aural chaos is what happens as the album lurches to a halt and YT//ST is the better for it, expansive ambience is all well and good but sonically, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan sound at their most vibrant when they let all hell break loose. More Sonic Titan next time maybe…?
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams