Yatra deliver all of the distorted fuzz and hazy-eyed riffs doom metal fans crave on their full-length debut, Death Ritual.
Buzzing stoner grooves come galloping out of reverberating psychedelia on “Hour of the Dragon” as Death Ritual begins its smoke-filled journey. Traditional blues adjacent doom riffs take the center stage on this track, and the album as a whole, and are drenched in thick distortion and accompanied by a steadfast rhythm section and raspy vocals. This tune is immediately followed by another heavy-hitter, “Black Moon”, which features sprawling sections of towering chords enveloped by walls of feedback that battle with hammering Sleep-esque riffs.
A duo of nearly seven-minute tracks in the middle of the record showcase the meditative power of the riff with increased dope-fueled atmospheres and hypnotic repetition. “Snakes in the Temple” and “Smoke is Rising” both conjure these massive guitar-driven passages rife with walls of skull-rattling drone, concussive percussion, and drug-induced solos. It’s like being led through a dimly-lit temple to participate in a primitive, hallucinogenic ritual. It’s moments like these where Death Ritual really excels.
While it is a solid doom album, it really doesn’t do much to distance itself from the tried-and-true formulas of the genre. The instrumentation is as big and as heavy as the genre calls for, but the songs themselves tend to be predictable. It may become easy for some listeners to anticipate the album’s next moves due to its recurring motifs and song structures. This doesn’t bring down the quality of the music by any means, but it might leave some listeners wanting more.
Despite not really breaking the mold, Yatra‘s Death Ritual still features all of the standard distorted bliss doom metal fans have come to expect from the genre. It’s a bit on the nose at times, but it will definitely satiate worshipers of the riff.
Release Date: January 4, 2019
Label: Grimoire Records
Favorite Tracks: “Black Moon” and “Smoke is Rising”
For Fans Of: Sleep, Cough and Electric Wizard