Underground Sounds: Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie

Label: Gilead Media
Band: Yellow Eyes
Origin: United States

In the cabin of Yellow Eyes

I don’t know every band, but sometimes names just keep hanging in that ‘need to listen to’ list. I never got around to Yellow Eyes, but the frequency of them being mentioned around me definitely makes me excited to get into ‘Immersion Trench Reverie’. The latest album by the New York group, two years after their last effort ‘Stick With Bloom’.

Featuring Mike Rekevics of Vanum, Sleepwalker and Fell Voices, expectations rise. Other Yellow Eyes members play in various other projects too. This means that this band is a particular project with a clear sonic direction. For recording this album, the band went into a cabin in Connecticut and stuck with similar methods as on their previous album. Yellow Eyes are not an iconoclastic breaker of bonds in the black metal scene, but they definitely are pushing the genre in new directions. This new record is a testament to that.

The inspiration for this album was also drawn from a visit to Siberia. After the gentle sounds of the bells ringing out over a sleepy town, the record launches in earnest with ‘Old Alpine Pang’. The guitar sound offers an urgency, a need for movement and action. The tremolo playing style and high notes give a sound that is slightly of the beaten path for the listener. The tortured screams are a bit muddled away in the mix but stick to a more traditional expression. The band likes to put in some atmospheric interludes here and there, that convey an otherness. An almost ritualistic vibe, which expands in songs like ‘Blue as Blue’, which is a vibrant, bombastic assault.

At times you could really put this band in the post-black metal corner, thanks to its smooth flow and post rocky vibe, but every time you feel getting comfortable the fun ends. Blistering guitars and frantic blast beats hit you with an uncanny ferocity. The field recordings from Siberia in between tracks offer moments of respite, before the doom and gloom of a tune like ‘Velvet on the Horns’ launches once more into big, arching glory. Sometimes the band sounds truly estranging and off-beat. It works in making the listener feel a bit more uneasy. Fortunately, the traditional black metal assaults in torrentuous force are still just as much a part of the Yellow Eyes sound.

Yellow Eyes combines forward-thinking, almost experimental black metal with the traditional narrative. That makes them exciting and daring. The use of the field recordings adds an organic vibe to the complete image. A great piece of music for sure.



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