Canada has bestowed some musical treasures upon the world, and as treasure is by nature it does have to be found. SONS OF OTIS, WOODS OF YPRES, BISON (BC) are an example of past and present gems that came from the great country – but if you dig just a little bit deeper you find bands like YETI ON HORSEBACK. Hailing from London, Ontario, the 4-piece (5 including Satan) have released two pieces via their Bandcamp page, but soon drops The Great Dying. An album which in all can be likened to being dragged through the gates of hell by Satan himself.
Doom by nature will typically have a huge, almost overwhelming soundscape – it fills the ears of the listener and plays towards the atmospheric side of the genre. The Great Dying in its entirety sounds big, cataclysmic even, the sheer rawness and elemental nature of the bands sound really shines through throughout the albums runtime.
‘Hauntingly demonic’ could be a term to blanket to describe the whole album, that chaotic, deathly evil sound that blackens the soundscape. Tracks like the album opener Tree of Death, Fables and Lies and Elephant Man in particular give this feeling of true hopelessness and disparity. The dramatic Lynch (A Prelude) presents a real old school build up with its sound being similar to that of a b-movie – being almost generative of a Ray Harryhausen stop motion flick. It doesn’t conflict with the album in any way, it serves as a intermission and as the title suggests a prelude to the next track, Elephant Man, which when transitioned into sounds spot on.
There is no air of lacklustre about The Great Dying, it is an immensely traditional doom album in the best way. Each song sounds perfectly crafted for maximum dark, maximum atmosphere and the pure fullness of the soundscape echoes this. YETI ON HORSEBACK really nailed the overall sound with The Great Dying the presentation of the tracks is perfect. Each song becomes its own experience, all be it in a generally dark and damning way – but the tracks paint their own individual picture, almost like they are representing their own echelon of hell.
Tree of Death opens in an empty and vacant void, before it is engulfed by vocals, riffs and it sets up the album beautifully. There is a true chaos amongst the layers of this song – vocally the shredded screams make for a haunting listen, and is the cherry on top of what is musically an assault of the senses.
The thickness of the strings shine in Viking Mushroom Tea, with the accent of the solo it envelopes the mind. The guitars and drums carry the songs pacing beautifully, and with the bass solo there is an awesome sense of misdirection, unpredictability almost. This mixed in with just the right amount of repetitiveness tops the song nicely.
Dragged Down To Hell is closes the album with a thunderous roar, of all instruments, the crispness of the drums is consistent with all of the tracks (bar Lynch) but stand out nicely in this track. Each element has been mixed to perfection for this 12 minute epic, it still sounds sharp and punchy – but with the right amount of drone and fade.
The Great Dying has a huge appeal, typical in the best way, traditional in the sense that it has everything that a Doom album would need. YETI ON HORSEBACK are in sync, in tune and have certainly made a magnificently dramatic album that pulls the listener in to the wretched pits of hell. This has future classic potential, is extremely accessible to fans of the genre new and old, and is a fantastic demonstration of the pure style that YETI ON HORSEBACK have.
The Great Dying is set for release on September 30th via Medusa Crush Recordings.
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