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Yakuza - Way Of The Dead CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.15 | 14 ratings

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3 stars "Way of the Dead" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US experimental metal act Yakuza. After gaining attention with their debut full-length studio album, "Amount to Nothing (2001)" with was released on the small Del Diablo label, the band caught the attention of Century Media Records, who signed the band and released "Way of the Dead" in 2002.

The band play a really eclectic and at times experimental type of metal. The music is somewhat rooted in hardcore and there are some raw sludgy elements in the music too, but especially the addition of saxophone/clarinet to the bandīs more traditional rock instrumentation of bass, guitars, drums and vocals, provide the sound with an avant garde (at times free jazz type) element. There are also keyboards and percussion on the album.

The vocals by Bruce Lamont (who also handles saxophone/clarinet) are predominantly shouting and raw, but he is one of those rare breed raw type vocalists who manage to put melodies into his harsh and distorted singing style. A feature that provides the vocal part of the music with a nice dynamic. The music is generally aggressive with edgy hardcore/sludge metal riffing, heavy yet cleverly played rhythms and the occasional mellower part, which are no less intriguing.

"Way of the Dead" is a pretty long album with itīs 70:42 minutes long playing time. The first seven tracks on the album are pretty much as Iīve described the music above, but the 8th and closing track "01000011110011" is very different from the rest of the tracks. Itīs a 43:24 minutes long jamming type track, with no heavy distored riffing, no vocals and a focus on atmospheric saxophone/clarinet playing. A mellow, laid back and ambient track. I enjoy the track for about 10 minutes and then my attention wanders. If you ask me thereīs no reason for this track to drag on for so long, when so little happens, but I guess people more into long drawn ambient and atmospheric music will appreciate this more than I do. I much prefer the more "regular" tracks on the album, which are all full of great energy, adventurous songwriting ideas, and high level musicianship. Add to that a powerful sound production and "Way of the Dead" is not only a quality album release by Yakuza, itīs a highly recommended listen. If "01000011110011" had been shorter or had progressed in a more interesting direction I would have rated "Way of the Dead" with a full 4 star (80%) rating, but because of that track a half star comes off and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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