Yatra, All Is Lost review (Grimoire Records 2020)

Yatra release their second set of masterful doom this year: All Is Lost.

The first album from Yatra was Death Ritual, released only two years ago. Blood of the Night followed in January this year, and now there is All Is Lost. The three-piece band from Maryland is Dana Helmuth (guitars and vocals), Maria Geisbert (bass), and Sean Lafferty (drums). The sound they create is fundamental but I wouldn’t call it stripped down. It is heavy with purpose and lithe as a leviathan in the ocean.

Recorded in June this year, All Is Lost is the perfect theme for 2020. The themes are ominous and dark. The lyrics are less about narrative structure on many songs and are filled with vivid imagery. The perfect example is “Blissful Wizard,” which repeats the refrains “blissful wizard / rides the night” and “bless this mountain” to convey the thematic structure while the music fills in the story. This approach puts the listener in a general conceptual frame of mind and allows subtleties to be individually interpreted as the music speaks in ways everyone can experience differently.

The music is doom – heavy guitar riffs, gruff vocals, pulsing rhythms. The opening song is the title track and it starts the set off on the path of fear, uncertainty, and darkness. There is a real feeling of not knowing what is going on but knowing for sure that it is bad. “Reapers ride the blackest winds / harvesting the death foretold.” A blackened prophecy of death seeping in, unstoppable. The lead breaks are potent and brief, as in “Winter’s Dawning,” where it lives between tectonic riff shifts. A track that sticks out in my mind is “One For The Mountain.” It is a dark fantasy theme carried on a veritable river of music created by the guitar in both lead and harmony. This song is the set stone piece for the album to my ears, and it is surrounded by metal that is going to have a lasting impact on heavy music. Highly recommended.

All Is Lost is out this Friday, October 9th and this is one you don’t want to miss. The digital, CD, and limited vinyl (100 copies) are available through Bandcamp. You can get ready for the new one by catching up on the first two albums if you haven’t heard them yet.

Band photo by Nichole Strouse.







Yatra, All Is Lost review (Grimoire Records 2020)

Serpent Omega, II review (Icons Creating Evil Art 2020)

The drought is over – Serpent Omega returns after seven years with the sequel to their praised debut.

Centered in Stockholm, Serpent Omega describe themselves as a “sludge/doom/black/death/war metal” band. That covers a lot of ground, but then so do their compositions. Doom, certainly, and between Death and Black, I would say they lean toward Black Metal. There is enough crossover here to catch fans lingering along many edges. The guitars land heavy riffs, the bass is on overdrive, and the vocals are earnest and aggressive. Thematically, the message is despair and darkening, hopelessness even. There are moments of more active assessment and description sprinkled among the scenes of ruin and in general there is always an air of menace, sometimes understated and sometimes not. The darkness is always – it hangs in every corner of this album.

There are a couple of pieces that stood out on my first listen among the seven included in II. In “Rivers of Reversed” a warbling, distorted bass line takes over in the middle and is joined by melodic vocals. As the song progresses toward the end, the vocals become strained, increasingly agitated like a deteriorating mental state. “Through The Gates” is a radio-length up tempo howler about moving past a landmark with focused intentions. The last track is “Av Aska,” which means “of ashes” in English if Google is correct. It is a solemn whispering song, a kind of funereal meditation in a way, and an excellent choice to wrap up the many threads of this eclectic album.

Available Friday, September 4, Bandcamp is perhaps the best bet now. There are rumors that physical versions will be available soon. “Land of Darkness” and “Orog Nuur” are available as singles on Spotify right now if you want to get a listen in before the full set drops.

Band photo by Jonas Husbom.






Serpent Omega, II review (Icons Creating Evil Art 2020)