A year isn’t that much time when you really think about it. We start projects that take longer than that (I’m working on one now!), and though it would seem four seasons would be ample amount of time to do anything, that doesn’t always work out. Though for some, a stretch of 12 months can make all the difference in the world.
It was about a year ago that we wrote up “Death Ritual,” doom trio Yatra’s debut record, a collection we really liked and visited a good bit in 2019. Now here we are, just a little more than a year later, and they’ve raged back with their monstrous second album “Blood of the Night,” an eight-track effort that feels like a completely different band. That’s not damnation of their debut at all but rather a massive heap of praise for a band that has gotten dramatically more savage in the past year than anyone could have expected. The band—guitarist/vocalist Dana Helmuth, bassist Maria Geisbert, drummer Sean Lafferty—put in the time on the road and strengthened their machine, which pays off on this devastating album. It’s a punishing display that serves to add buckets of broken glass and into their sludgy doom, which was pretty deadly to begin with.
“Sorcerer” kicks off the record with noise building and sinister riffs ramming in before Helmuth’s vicious growls hulk and flex their muscles. The playing is thrashy and thorny, shifting to a killer solo that blazes as Helmuth wails, “Forsaken by nightfall!” before the track ends. “Carrion” unleashes doom waves early as the grisly vocals and smoking riffs form a great beast. The body of the track is torn apart while the tempo gets heftier, and killer leads tear through, knives out. The track pounds and burns from there with the sound hanging in the air, stinging your skin. “The Howling” kicks off with bluesy leads that pave the way for crushing riffs that try to break bones. The guitars erupt and blaze, adding more fuel to a track that’s grimy and catchy, which could make this a gateway cut for the band. “After the Ravens” has an ominous beginning as it unfurls and spreads, as Helmuth howls, “Ravens cry in the morning for blood!” Guitars loop and mesmerize before it kicks into higher gear, punishing heavily as all elements rumble, crashing down upon you, leaving you trapped.
“Blood Will Flow” starts off with a cool riff as Helmuth calls, “Feel the nighttime, breathe.” The track then bashes you over the head as the guitars ramp up, noises buzz, and your head begins to spin. The main riff then returns, ripping through the madness and ending with vicious growls. “Three Moons” has guitars snaking through the waters, driving slowly as Helmuth wails, “Raise your torches higher,” as soloing bubbles, bringing heat. Hypnotic tones send shockwaves, as grimness arrives and darkens skies, circling its way into the earth. “Burning Vision” starts with guitars ringing out, pummeling heavily and smashing through boundaries. Soloing unleashes sparks, increasing the heat that continues to build, as the track finishes up laying waste. “Surrender” is your closer, pushing a sludgy, bluesy assault forward as the playing gets heavier while it goes. The band heads onward into battle, wielding their brand of boiling violence, spilling torrentially, bringing the record to a mauling conclusion.
It didn’t take long for Yatra to become one of the mightier bands in doom metal, and in just over a year’s time, they’ve responded with a sophomore album that absolutely demands your attention. “Blood of the Night” is an absolute eye opener of a record, eight songs that blacken your eyes and bloody your lips as you try to put up a defense. This is a band that’s beginning to build a momentous ball of fury, and a year from now, they’re likely to be even mightier as they rule with an iron fist.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/yatradoom/
To buy the album, go here: https://stbrecords.bandcamp.com/album/blood-of-the-night
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/STB-Records-471228012921184/