Yellow Eyes - Rare Field Ceiling review
|Album:||Rare Field Ceiling|
|Release date:||June 2019|
01. Warmth Trance Reversal
02. No Dust
03. Light Delusion Curtain
04. Nutrient Painting
05. Rare Field Ceiling
06. Maritime Flare
This year has been absolutely crazy for black metal, whether Icelandic, French, Dutch or Polish. USBM hasn't really been lacking either, but Yellow Eyes are sure to make their mark and make choosing a top ten for the year even more difficult.
I don't need to tell you how great some of the modern USBM is, bands like Ash Borer, Krallice, Woe, Panopticon and all that namedropping. This is New York outfit Yellow Eyes's fifth album, and by now I think we should start namedropping them as well. If they can get my attention in a year swarming with great black metal releases, that's gotta mean something.
Rare Field Ceiling sounds weird. Not weird enough to be avant-garde or anything like that. Not hypnotic enough to be psychedelic. But somehow both of those descriptors aren't exactly unfit for the music. In their grainy lo-fi production, there seem to be fogs similar to second wave revivalism, but ones that still feel made by a modern USBM band, thus managing to both feel extremely anachronistic and raw, and also giving enough attention to making each instrument perfectly audible. And black metal that sounds dense and raw has been done before a million times, but somehow Rare Field Ceiling manages to hit a sort of sweet spot where it feels very immersive.
It might have to do with how great the performances on the record are. The vocals are the most one-dimensional aspect of the album, and even those transmit so much rabid vitriol through them that they're impossible to write off. Drumming that feels slightly jazz inspired in how they are constantly shifting, while the guitars are also never sitting too long on a single riff. All of this might seem to take the album in too much of a technical direction, but this does not come at the expense of the atmospheric immersion that the record has. The transitions between pieces are so odd, but it never feels like they were artificially plastered together, which is essential when writing songs as long as Rare Field Ceiling's, where almost all are over seven minutes. Complete with a few choirs and field recordings supposedly captured in Siberia, the album feels even more ethereal.
I will politely ask 2019 to stop releasing great black metal. I could honestly only review black metal from now on and I would still have plenty of writing to do. I'm not sure if Rare Field Ceiling is really top of the notch, but the fact that I'm not immediately certain of this is only a testament of what a great year this has been. And it's not even over yet.
||Written on 16.07.2019 by|
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