The Yellow Sign - _Ancient_
by: Daniel Cairns (3.5 out of 5)
During my tenure here I've learned to be wary about how bands describe themselves. I've had bands bigging themselves up as progressive death and been presented with stuff even Miley Cyrus would call too pussy.

So, I wasn't expecting much from The Yellow Sign, who described themselves as such. And what did I get for my ennui? A giant slap in my stupid face.

The Yellow Sign -are- progressive death metal, and bloody good whilst they're at it. Some of it recalls the monstrously low tuned _Nothing_ by Meshuggah. When they aren't breaking down like moody metalcore troglodytes they're making me happy, which very few new bands seem to do these days.

The Yellow Sign are at their most interesting when they're being slow and sludgy with some squalling guitar going off in the background. They're nicely atmospheric in a way many of their peers fail to be. Even some of the more melodic moments are alright. Also in their favour is a production job so ludicrously chunky and heavy, that I actually spilled my tea (I'm well metal) due to getting a fright when a new track popped on.

However, they have some things to work on methinks. If I see another promo photo of a black clad metal band with their arms crossed looking angry I'll vomit. Why can't they smile and wear dungarees or something? To be fair though, it isn't so bad in The Yellow Sign's case, because they all look like the kind of people who would spend hours on "Doom" or something. It's also a shame that they occasionally go a bit deathcore (you know, melodic breaks, dual guitar shite, etc.) because they're clearly talented bastards, and they could be doing much more interesting things.

Despite these tendencies though, there's enough Gorguts inspired polyrhythmic prog-death crunch to convince me that they have something to run with. If they concentrate properly on being heavy and deathy and remove the more 'core' elements, then they'll clearly be on to a winner.

The Yellow Sign then. Their name makes me think of piss, but they are anything but. Well worth investigation methinks.


(article published 29/5/2009)

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