Monday, November 5, 2012

Class of 2012: Yakuza - Beyul

Led by Bruce Lamont, Yakuza plays an interesting style of music.  Is it metal?  At time, yes, it is.  It's also avant-garde with some jazz tendencies, too.

"Oil And Water" starts with an experimental intro and then actually has a grungy feel (think early work by bands like Mudhoney and Soundgarden) at certain points.

The next two tracks, "The Last Day" and "Man Is Machine," are the album's highlights.  The former has a great moment that starts at the 0:50 mark and makes great use of instruments other than the expected guitar, bass, and drums of a metal band.  The latter has its great moment from 2:18-2:40.

At almost ten minutes, the nearly epic "Fire Temple And Beyond" is the record's longest song.  It seems to get heavier as the song builds until there's nowhere else to go but back down.

The next two tracks come in at just under four minutes combined.  ""Mouth Of The Lion" is the longer of the two and makes me wonder what it might sound like if it were longer.  "Species" is KEN mode meets Converge.

The album's closer, "Lotus Array," is jazzy for its first minute and a half and then turns into more experimental rock.  One missing element, however, is a jazzy, avant-garde inspired outro.

Beyul is nearly forty minutes of avant-garde mixed with heavy metal.  Does it work?  Yes, indeed.

Grade: B+  (88.4%)

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