The Maryland group Yatra’s currently available second album Blood of the Night — which dropped this January via STB Records — provides an exhilarating death-doom journey. With the steadily enclosing walls of fuzz that mark classic doom firmly in place, Yatra launch into further physical heaviness as their hefty riffs come tumbling down and the catchy drum rhythms ring out. Their expansion of the sound provides a personalization that gives these massive sonic excursions an attention-grabbing, devilish face.
The definitely standout track “Carrion” nicely exemplifies the group’s gripping blend. The track almost immediately starts out with a deeply gripping, thickly heavy groove that quickly feels physically intense. The gripping swagger runs through this whole track (and much of the record) as the group digs into the fullness of the meat of the maelstroms that they’ve concocted. With their wildly amplified focus, Yatra feel like they’re laying out the perhaps hidden goodness at the core of these riffs. As “Carrion” in particular draws to a close, they launch into solo-worthy riffing as the steady, thick rhythm proceeds in the background.
Guitarist and vocalist Dana Helmuth sounds like a seething beast on this record. He delivers caustic, harsh vocals that feel ripped from menacing straight-up death metal, and the clarity with which he performs ensures that the album sticks. The regally persistent dynamic swings add another welcome level to the cacophonous drama of this album.
The combinations make the music feel especially visceral and immediate. The metallic edges and vicious vocals solidify the gripping side of this music that makes listening feel a bit like getting thrown into the volatile, ominously apocalyptic wasteland suggested by the relentless intensity of the sound. There certainly are other inhabitants of this metaphorical, musically expressed space — Yatra pack in the startlingly catchy riffs in both their more galloping and slower songs — but the overwhelming air of seething menace ensures that whenever those other travelers arrive, it’s not exactly like some friendly chat will ensue.
Ultimately, the album feels like a startlingly immersive experience. The sound packs a wonderfully rich fullness — wherever you turn, towards the guitar tones, feedback fuzz, drum beats or whatever else, the energy proves majorly amplified and these songs really get a chance to shine.
Check out the music below!