Yellow Eyes - The Desert Mourns
Sibir Records
Black Metal
2 songs (15:31)
Release year: 2014
Bandcamp, Sibir Records
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from New York, this trio are relatively new to the black metal world, having only been formed in 2010, but already have two albums and a split to their name, and latest EP The Desert Mourns is a strong microcosm of the band's sound for newcomers. Having a modern black metal sound that owes more than a little debt to Krallice, the band nonetheless are original in sound, being both wilder and more melodic in a strange way. It would be easy for traditional-minded black metal fans to dismiss them, but you'd be missing out, as there's a strongly atmospheric tone to this music that makes for a fascinating listen. From the playing of the instruments to the chaotic way the tracks are structured, it's a black metal experience like few modern bands can provide, and you get the feeling that Yellow Eyes have much more to offer.

Opener The Desert Mourns is unrestrained, moving from riff to riff beneath the wild, screeched vocals but always forming part of the whole, a black metal wall of noise that suffocates initially but opens into a fascinatingly deep experience with a few listens. Some of the more melodic riffs have hints of Drudkh to them, while the overall roar is strong and powerful enough to banish any comparisons to Weakling that may be on the lips of USBM-knockers. A good opening, and it's intensified by the even better One Rock for the Wild Dog, which opens with sparse acoustic strums before dropping the Americana and lurching into a powerful torrent of black metal, the vocals even more passionate and unhinged. It stands still for a moment, before building back into a primal wall of noise, the melodies flurrying and never still, the guitars almost avant-garde in some of their riff-shifts but making an uneasy kind of sense as the track takes hold of you.

Both pieces fade away at their ends to be replaced by ambience, and it's hard not to see this as a suggestion that the band could continue to hold you spellbound for a lot longer than a mere fifteen minutes. It's certainly worth hearing, and exploring previous Yellow Eyes releases; you can hear and purchase The Desert Mourns from the links above.

Killing Songs :
The Desert Mourns, One Rock for the Wild Dog
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