Echoes of Yul - _Cold Ground_
(Avantgarde Music, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7 out of 10)
Well, this is what I wanted. I was asking for this. Recently, I have been interested in the borderlands of metal. The space where extreme metal reaches its furthest point before dissolving in the lands of experimental noise. Bands whose classification of metal is questionable, yet their music is so harsh and dissonant they would not reside anywhere else. Para-metal. Bands and albums that maybe beyond the realm of metal. The lost ones. The artists who went too far. The exiled. If I have anyone to blame for Echoes of Yul, it is myself.

Echoes of Yul is a Polish experimental band which blends stoner doom, drone and atmospheric electronic into an underlying sense of terror. The band's 2007 self-titled debut was nothing less than near 80 minutes of inexplicable horror. I could discuss the merits of enjoyability and feeling, but these are emotions reserved for the living. Echoes of Yul crafts landscapes for the dead or dying. Imagine my smile when Echoes of Yul announced their second record, _Cold Ground_.

Echoes of Yul is unique in the fact that their albums are the segments of songs without introduction or resolve. Sometimes one will pass a bluesy retro jam only to trip over noise and vocal samples. A dark electronic melody will be a stepping stone into a wall of fuzz. This disconnected atmosphere that constructs Echoes of Yul is impressive -- given the right amount of time and patience. _Cold Ground_ is a doom record which has been left out to die in the wilderness. The skeletal photographs on the front do more than enough to validate my metaphor. If you are still confused whether or not this is a party record means you either are terrible at inference or you throw the strangest parties.

With most para-metal, the concept of Echoes of Yul is sometimes greater than the experience listening. On atmosphere and emotion reaction alone, the band does more than enough to receive credit. Whether or not I will be visiting _Cold Ground_ in the future is of course up to chance as well as the decision of this skeletal shaman that now stands in the corner of my room.

(article published 16/9/2012)


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