Yellow Eyes has been releasing intriguing black metal since 2010. From New York City, New York, this four man team has been at the forefront of the underground American black metal scene. Most followers of the sub-genre will readily recognize and acknowledge Yellow Eyes as a sort of leading force behind many of the newer black metal conglomerates where race, politics and religion are no longer the focal point of the lyrics. Depression, loss, nature, and solitude all seem to be the focus, and with that, the musical composition, and melodic tales that are spun meld particularly well with the sub genre. Although this is not a particularly new take on writing, Yellow Eyes delivers a notable contribution that stands ahead and apart for many reasons.
This will be the band's fourth full-length. While also having several EP's and a split in their catalog, their strength lies in the lengthier releases, where their musicianship is given a moment to exercise itself, and the listener is able to imbibe the melodies. When both listener and music has reached comprehension/maturation, a complete and successful experience will occur. Those who are familiar with their 2015 release Sick With Bloom are familiar with this, and as with their previous release, Immersion Trench Reverie, strongly echoes this process and will bring the listener back over and over.
Much of the musical characteristics of Yellow Eyes are not much different from other bands in the sub-genre. Blasting beats, rapid double bass, agonizing vocals, etc. The guitar tones are fairly typical as well, but the band's strength lies in the building up of the melodic riffs, while drawing upon its meandering backing riffs, and combing them all for a sonic overture that, while reaching its peak at key moments, has the continuity to revisit its soul stirring riffs that draws the listener back in. This dissension continually delivers the listener to the foundation of their musical message. These characteristics can be found in every song, which in turn creates no dead space on the album.
When thinking of the six songs on this album, I could not identify a favorite. This is a very strong album, and there is not a weak or lesser track within it. This is very rare given the diversity in each song. Some are far more technical and carry an abundant amount of timing transitions ("Velvet on the Horns"), where others are melodic passages that conjure soul stirring rhythms and emotions ("Shrillness in the Heated Grass"). As a whole, the album carries a strong, dark, depressive tone, but is able to transform it into beauty. Very few bands can do this, and it generally ends up sounding simply depressive and dark.
I had fairly high expectations for this album since Sick With Bloom is such a strong album. Yellow Eyes did not let me down. Each song is flawless, and no matter how hard I searched for imperfections, I could not find any. It will be difficult for me to find a stronger, more complete album for some time. I believe Yellow Eyes are at the top of their game, and hope they continue to release magnificent music. This timeless piece of art gets a 10/10. which I do not believe I have given any album a perfect score in the past. It is well deserved.