Release DetailsLABEL Osmose Productions
RELEASED ON 10/12/2004
posted on 10/2004 By:
Much like In Battle, France's Yyrkoon used to play black metal - moody keyboards and everything. It wasn't bad - it was actually very melodic and creative black metal which suffered from poor production. After a line-up change, they eventually released an album called Dying Sun, which was a radical departure from their former style. Although recieved fairly, it didn't really gather a lot of attention. For their fourth album, Occult Medicine, they've signed to their fellow countrymen's label over at Osmose Records. And boy, Osmose has sure done themselves a favor.
A big favor.
Combining dark breakdowns with head-bobbing rhythms and traditional heavy metal solos, Yyrkoon play a deceivingly complex style of poignant death/thrash metal. They've got a great balance of brutality merged with majestic musicianship and effective growls. It's hard to nail down exactly what they sound like, as they're extremely innovative. Although being monumentally far away from being compared to Carcass, the track "Censored Project", with its punchy production and melody, reminds me a bit of Impaled. Despite the progressive guitarwork that at times could hark comparisons to bands like Atheist, Yyrkoon isn't afraid to collapse into pure groove ala Illdisposed. This isn't your typical meathead death/slam metal, though. Displaying their experimental nature, they begin their title track with a bizarre beeping before launching a militaristic beat and a memorable riff of pull-offs played over a siren-esque bending chord. The songwriting is extremely solid, as throughout the entire song you're reminded of that beginning riff without being forced to confront it over and over again. There's even some clean vocals which make an entrance from time to time, like on "Reversed World", an incredible thrash song with ascending guitars and groundbreaking starts and stops. What's most impressive is the whole tone of the album, where you actually feel like you're being lead deeper into a concept. The songs build, and everything comes together during the last track, "Erase the Past", which has some almost doomy guitar strumming and finishes off with the drums crashing in the distance.
Certainly one of the higher points on the album is the production, where everything's mixed in such a way that the album really comes across as sounding atmospheric - or at least as atmospheric as twisted death/thrash metal can be. There isn't a single over-dominating aspect of the music contained on Occult Medicine and the few effects added into the music in the intros and such are enjoyable and more than tasteful.
To still be entertained by an album after 46 minutes is a rarity. To still be wholeheartedly enjoying an album after that amount of time is...phenomenal. I'm actually gripping my skull and smiling over this album. Yyrkoon is definitely the surprise of the year for me, and what a pleasant surprise it is. Occult Medicine, bottom line, is outstanding. I hate giving perfect scores. I hate it more than anything - and maybe I'll regret it later. But I just can't find a reason to denote points from Occult Medicine. It's simply a must buy as far as I'm concerned.
Register to post comments.