Unhealthy Opera

For some reason, I always compare France’s Yyrkoon with Poland’s Trauma; both are underrated and in the shadow of their respective country’s other higher profile bands, yet both are just as talented and skilled. I reviewed Trauma’s Imperfect Like a God right around the time I reviewed Yyrkoon’s Occult Medicine and both were excellent releases that utilized solos more so than most death metal, so both seem forever linked in my mind.Yyrkoon’s fourth album sees the band tackling Lovecraftian themes within their technical yet bludgeoning death metal mannerisms. As with Occult Medicine, a needless intro (“Something Breathes”) kicks things off before the band surge into the impressive title track that quickly chugs and rumbles with technical voracity, yet also delivers the albums first jaunt into solo land. “From the Depths” enters more choppy, complex even progressive territory, again embellished with un-death metal like solos but ends with stout lurch. The Vaderish menace of “Avatar Ceremony” is complemetned by delicate acoustic interlude of “Temple of Infinity.” The violent start of “Abnormal Intrusion” quickly wipes away the interludes relaxing tones and sees Yyrkoon truly unleash their more ferocious side. Complementary song placement arises again as the shuddering intricacy of “Screaming Shores” is followed by arguably the albums most vitriolic cut, the short but abrasive “The Book.”

I’m not so sure about the Lovecraftion lyrical approach, as Yyrkoon’s music never conveys the horror and surreal imagery of Cthulu-ian monstronsities as say Portal or Catacombs do as only closer “Injecting Dementia” has even a remotely disturbing, undulalting ambiance.

On the whole Unhealthy Opera seems less Behemoth -ish than Occult Medicine, and former Aborted growler Stephane Souteryrand seem less processed and more natural than on Occult Medicine and the production is perfect without being over done.

Another strong album from Yyrkoon, who seem to be taken slightly for granted within the hierarchy of death metal, but always seem to deliver the goods.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 20th, 2006


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