Yyrkoon - _Dying Sun_
(Anvil Corp / Wagram, 2002)
by: David Rocher (
It definitely looked as though the French heavy black metallers Yyrkoon, after releasing their 1997 debut on the defunct Velvet Music International, had vanished into oblivion, with a vast cohort of former black metal-affiliated acts; hence, not only is _Dying Sun_ a testimonial to the band's return to life, it also reveals itself to be a fantastic offering of keyboard-enhanced thrashing heavy metal! Whereas _Oniric Transition_ showcased inspired, competently composed and interpreted -- yet in fine mildly unmemorable -- symphonic black metal, _Dying Sun_ revels in a coarser, more aggressive and, most importantly, brilliantly executed fusion of heavy metal and thrash with progressive metal touches. While Yyrkoon’s twin guitar and chugging bass rhythmic attack indeed mainly focuses on aggressive yet melodic heavy metal sonorities, to which Laurent Harrouart's drumming provides a muscular, dynamic and complex backbone, the appreciably discrete and always very sagacious interspersion of synthetic effects and alternating pattern of clear vocals and harsh growls graces Yyrkoon’s metal with a unique epic slant. Much as countless keyboard-driven acts such as the dreaded Children of Bodom or their siblings Warmen hopelessly saturate their music with cheesy, over-melodic and hopelessly dispensable keyboards (the gruesome, irreverent musical murder perpetrated by Laiho's bunch on Sepultura's fantastic "Mass Hypnosis" is proof enough), Yyrkoon's utilisation of electronics is unsystematic, unpredictable and always graces the aggressive, chugging throes of _Dying Sun_ with a welcome inspired epic incline or atmospheric shroud. Technically speaking, _Dying Sun_ is flawless; Yyrkoon prove what a schooled and inspired quintet of true musicians they have become since their first release -- a streak of true musical and technical brilliance which already appeared sporadically at the time of _Oniric Transition_, and now reveals itself in all its splendour. Filled to the brim with fantastic, addictive riffs, beautiful leads, awesome drumming and excellent ivory-tickling performances, _Dying Sun_ embraces a scope of musical influences and dimensions too ample to be put into words, and will, I hope, open the gates of a well-earned and much-deserved international recognition to the geniuses lurking behind this genesis. With truly excellent acts such as Blackness, Scarve or No Return in its ranks, the massively uprising French thrash scene is looking toward a bright future. Check www.yyrkoon.net and this release out -- or risk dying in ignorance.
(article published 1/9/2002)
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