Yyrkoon - _Occult Medicine_
(Osmose Productions, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
There really is only so much one can say for France's Yyrkoon -- a band who wear their influences so proudly on their sleeves that at times any semblance of a distinctive identity is virtually undiscernible amidst the swirl of the band's old-school death/thrash assault. Given that the group are now four albums into a career that began in 1995, one would expect this derivative style to have simmered down somewhat over the years, but the oblique riffing that introduces "Doctor X" is only one of several sequences that would serve to indicate that innovation is not particularly high up on Yyrkoon's agenda. Yet, despite this distinct lack of originality, there are several moments where the band succeed in making their inferential style work. There is no denying the impact of a track like "Surgical Distortion" -- where seething production, razor-wire vocals and a pummeling drum-line create an aggressive, driving piece of music that is simply so in-your-face that it demands attention. The downside is that, while this isn't exactly a one in a million occurrence on _Occult Medicine_, even the appeal of the record's best bits tend to wear a bit thin after a few plays.
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