Yellow Eyes’ new album Rare Field Ceiling chills you to the emotional core right from the get-go, providing for a thrilling and inescapably intense black metal experience. It packs the sounds of slinking down into a cosmic grave in a long-forgotten corner of the universe, magnifying personable misery to an astounding degree and highlighting every inch of the scope of the true mayhem. They tell the story of this descent, but they’re extreme to the point of feeling like they pick up the tale well after you’ve already been smashed to pieces and from there, shine a light on getting ground in between ice-cold gears of torment. Musical misery becomes something grand in Yellow Eyes’ hands, who ruthlessly trailblaze an impressive path through what might previously have been nothing but a foggy, distant glow.
Rare Field Ceiling is this New York band’s fourth full-length album, and there’s a clear sense of experience with the tools of their trade that permeates Yellow Eyes’ latest endeavor. There’s no lack of energy or even focus at any point in this creation as they chip away at what’s left of previous conceptions of sanity. There’s something underneath that crumbling statue, and they want to get at it.
Musically, it’s impressive to say the least how the band chart out a clearly alluring path through the mayhem, at least one that will attract those who are used to this type of exploration. They never lose a way — their creations surge and burst like a row of waves beating down ever more intensely. The band let the power of their instrumentation shine through very clearly at times, with harshly shrieked vocals that only add to the mix and don’t dominate it. An especially fascinating point comes towards the album’s end, when on “Maritime Flare” the band whip out a stringed instrument-driven composition with operatic vocals that sounds like it could be from the soundtrack to an anxiety-ridden horror movie.
Yellow Eyes’ newest genuinely unsettling but clearly power-ridden music feels like a sonic manifestation of something like the ruthless march of death across human civilization, especially as it manifests in the social underbrush — it’s massive in scope while proving uncompromisingly merciless.
Listen below via Bandcamp and catch the full new album from Gilead Media on June 28.