The Athens-based metal project Yovel captures a majestic, billowing cloud of post-black metal on their socially aware — to say the least — new album Forthcoming Humanity, which is available now.
The music feels as though each note carries the weight of ages of aching, street-level turmoil. The tension in the fiercely propulsive yet mournful melodies seems to communicate the tension of the so far endless struggle to break through social boundaries that may make security seem constantly out of reach.
Track one — called “Chapter I – Debout Les Morts” — is mostly acoustic (as is the closing track), while track two (called “Chapter II – Peace”) launches into reeling, fierce riffing — but the heaving, urgent emotion that shone in the earlier, softer moments continues to shine. The contemplative, emotionally sensitive element of the record feels especially highlighted by narration from Antriana Andreovits, who provides occasional spoken word interludes. As tracks three and beyond get rolling, the music establishes itself with some vicious, churning ferocity. Plenty of blast beats and buzzsaw riffs course through the music, but rather than leaning into a metallic, piercing feeling, the music (when it’s heavier) feels more like a kind of expansive, crusty post-metal. The physical ferocity in the sound gives these heavier moments on the record a rather anthemic feel, as if capturing the cathartic mood of an ultimately successful — even if pained — struggle to topple a dictator.
Gentler textures figure prominently on Forthcoming Humanity, but none of the gentler moments really feel like much of a respite. Instead, via the emotionally pained, heartache-racked melodies, the softer segments — like the one that opens track four — feel like raw outpourings. These moments in the music feel like they’re spotlighting the real, human perspective at the center of social issues and struggles. There’s a sense of mourning over what’s lost, as the melodies — across the softer and heavier moments — deliver a sense of pained longing, via their persistent forward energy that feels absolutely racked with tension. The tension consistently emerges right alongside the gentler musical contemplation — track five, which begins with gentility, closes with a memorable blast of searing fury, and a similar pattern repeats elsewhere, like during the unrelenting, scorching conclusion of the following track.
The rhythms on the title track (aka “Chapter VII – Forthcoming Humanity”) feel rather captivating. Beneath the flurry of blast beats, there’s a kind of unhinged swing in the music’s step, which amplifies the feeling of musical fury. Critically, across Forthcoming Humanity, this fury feels directed. The music feels like an emotional lightning strike, like suddenly flipping on lights running through back alleyways that have languished in the dark for too long, springing those who’ve been trapped within to action.
Listen to Forthcoming Humanity below!