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Yakuza - Of Seismic Consequence CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.83 | 17 ratings

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4 stars With the rise of sludge, the term Metal has become such a broad umbrella in the last decade that I really wonder if a fan of Gamma Ray would still consider Yakuza to be metal at all. It is certainly aggressive in places, brutal even, but it is often also slow, gentle, jazzy, psychedelic and introvert. And those last 5 characteristics are exactly what lured me into this band's sound.

'Of Seismic Consequence' appeared in quite a number of metal top 10s of 2010. Even right at the top sometimes. I've gone back all the way to 'Way of the Dead' in their discography and I can confirm that this is indeed their masterpiece so far. There is no album where they've shaken all the ingredients of their style to such good effect, reaching a perfect balance between fast and slow, between aggressive and subdued, between screaming and melody, and between energetic and lethargic. The songwriting is outstanding, not deviating much from previous albums but with hooks aplenty this time. I especially love the outstretched psychedelic jazz parts, and they aren't overtly long or too indulgent to frighten off people that usually don't listen to jazzy stuff.

There's one gripe with this album though and that is the mastering. Everything is a blur of mid-level equalizing, leaving the lower end without any oomph and the higher end flat and dry. Even some serious EQ-ing doesn't help much. Especially the fast and heavy tracks lose lots of their dynamics because of it. Luckily 3/4 of the album is rather calm and brings in the needed dynamics despite of the deafeningly flat sound.

This is nothing less of a post-sludge masterpiece with astonishingly original music and excellent songwriting. The lifeless production could have been better though. 4+ stars easily.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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