Wednesday, May 11, 2016
All Hail The Yeti - Screams From A Black Wilderness (2016)
The formula here is pretty straight forward, groovy melodies are mixed with scary settings and a classic "Good Vocal, Bad Vocal" approach. The sound is pretty radio friendly, but the harsh vocals keeps it from being too mainstream, giving it a tougher edge instead. So it is unmistakeably metalcore we are talking about, but it does not feel like metalcore. Maybe it is the groove that gives me this feeling, but the band is giving me the impression that they are playing a new metal genre, one that you could call groovecore. Cool.
"Screams From A Black Wilderness" starts off really strong. With a creepy intro and some gloomy guitars, "Before The Flames" bring out the best of the band to instantly show that the 4 years that have gone since their debut have made them even better. The chorus is extremely infectious, and the little girl that cries out to mommy and daddy completes the mood in a stunning way. Another stand out track is "Mr. Murder" (with special guest Brock Lindow from 36 Crazyfists), a fast, headbangin' tune with some catchy "whoa-o whoa-o" and a great breakdown. It is a given that "Mr. Murder" is the most bland murder name ever, but fortunately, the song is anything but bland.
There are more great songs in this record, and to my pleasing, I cannot find a single filler in sight. The whole album is one solid unity that screams quality, and delivers a really groovy punch. Songs like "Lady of The Night", "Let The Night Roar", "Daughter of The Morning Star", "Angels Envy", and "Witch Is Dead" all contribute in making "Screams From A Black Wilderness" a enjoyable ride through this earthly setting, making you almost feel one with the nature. It is really obvious that the band has taken their time to make sure that every second matters, which does make the 4 year long wait very rewarding.
The main criticism I have with this album is that it sounds monotonous, keeping the same speed and sound through all of its 47 minutes of play time. The groove keeps this from being too boring, but what I really liked with the debut record was its dynamics, creating several different moods and tensions, something this album fails to accomplish. The songs also have sort of the same structure as well, making the songs all too predictable. You will quickly figure out where they will switch vocal styles, or when the extra groovy riff will come out and play, taking away a lot of the excitement. I also feel like the debut was a bit more innovative, mixing different speeds and styles. Would have loved to see that in this album too.
Overall, the songs have good, even quality to them, making "Screams From A Black Wilderness" a step up in overall quality, but the innovation that "All Hail The Yeti" showed is missing here. A new "I Am Wendigod" or "Deep Creek" would have been lovely, but I could not care less about, because I am smiling while listening to this album. The band has a great future ahead of them, with a set up of tools that most bands would love to possess. So set up your tent, light a fire, and indulge yourself into the wilderness, and enjoy its screams.
Songs worthy of recognition: Mr. Murder, Before The Flames, Let The Night Roar, Lady of The Night
Rating: 8/10 Nemisis Queens