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Cd Review: YAKUZA – Transmutations

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Yakuza   Transmutations

This was a hard one to review. Not that it was hard to listen to, that part was easy, and it was great! I’m sure that anyone familiar with YAKUZA knows what I’m talking about. They’re one of those bands that plays whatever the hell they want, coming up with whatever bizarre creation that just happens to flow from their fingers.

Speaking of flow, that’s one word I can use to easily describe the album. It’s funny how every song is radically different from one another, yet YAKUZA manages to uses little bits and pieces of noise and ambiance to tie them all together.

The album title of “Transmutations” is very fitting. It seems like every lightly-sung, slow, ambient, and atmospheric song is sandwiched between a fast heavy number that’s also difficult to describe. I’d like to call it a variation on death metal, but that’s a misleading statement. It certainly sounds like YAKUZAs own take on what heavy and extreme music can sound like.

In the end, I’d say the closest thing that “Transmutations” sounds like is metalgaze, mostly for the lighter atmospheric songs. Or perhaps like something that would fit on all sorts of different movie soundtracks. The easier listening parts outnumber the full-on heavy songs by about 55/45, or maybe 60/40. After all that, everything is executed well. The album flows, it ebbs, and it catches you off guard with meaty hooks, especially in those heavy songs. It’s a different concoction, that’s for sure.

Make no mistake, I’m sure many reviewers would have an easier time putting “Transmutations” into words, but that would still not give you the full description. Just hear it for yourself and be amazed.


Yakuza at MySpace
Yakuza at Prosthetic Records

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