Yatra’s sonically massive new full length Death Ritual packs a feeling of sinister but ultimately human resolve. In every imaginable aspect, the record proves expansive and sprawling, presenting a sound on the deep, sludgy end of the metal spectrum that evades easy categorization. Thick, meaty riffs roll out one after the other, blending together into a controlled burn, while vocalist/guitarist Dana Helmuth delivers his snarling vision of a bleak — but populated — wasteland.
No aspect of the presentation really falls behind, and both Helmuth’s riffs and his lyrics get their time to shine, carrying each other along in the service of whatever captivating devilish being holds onto power in this record’s scenario.
The album contains a certain fanciful element that sets it well apart from the run-of-the-mill metal record. There’s a clear eye towards the grandiose throughout its run time, which allows the listener to have a somewhat transformative experience that whisks them away to a fantasy instead of being stuck in a more shallow exploration of the concepts at hand. This magnanimity bleeds out not at all only through the somewhat fantasy driven lyrics, also bursting forth thanks to just how pummeling the band’s sonic attack proves. Their riffs feel like towering trees come crashing to the earth over and over again in front of the listener, sending them for a real spin.
Throughout all of the welcome musical spectacle, there’s a decidedly human perspective that lets Yatra’s work have even more of an impact. Instead of dedicating themselves solely to seeing how far they can go, the band members sound like they’ve poised their music to have the greatest human impact possible. In this case, rather than any sort of pandering to the audience, it would appear that the shadowy rise from the depths channels some of the energy Helmuth and his bandmates have experienced.
In this case, we as the audience members get to go along for the ride. Throughout the release, the intensity and focus never let up. Yatra prove themselves as far more than a one-trick pony with a handful of riffs, delivering a far more all encompassing sonic experience for fans of doom, stoner, and sludge metal.
The full experience releases January 4 via Grimoire Records. Listen below via Bandcamp in the meantime