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Yurt - 2018 - "IV. The Obstacle is Everything"

(53:33; Yurt)


TRACK LIST: 1. Icon Rubble 10:09 2. The Narrowing 9:25 3. Angel Happatuth Meets Devil Dikkei 7:42 4. Faith Utensil 13:20 5. The Curious Observation of the Peas-Haver 12:57 LINE UP : Andrew Bushe - percussion Steven Anderson - vocals, guitars, electronics Boz Mugabe - vocals, bass, electronics

Prolusion. Irish band Yurt can trace their origins back to the year of 2006, and from their base in Dublin they have crafted and released material at a steady pace starting with the album "Ege Artemis Yurtum" in 2009 and with the 2022 album "V - Upgrade to Obsolete" as the most recent of their sonic escapades given life on a shiny disc. The album "IV - The Obstacle Is Everything" dates back to 2018, and was self released by the band.

Analysis. Yurt is among those bands that can be placed into several different traditions within the progressive rock universe, and I'd hazard a guess that there are people not willing to regard them inside of a progressive rock context too. For my sake I do believe that progressive metal probably is the best manner in which to define the realms they have set out to explore, with the caveat of this being music very much on the side of what most people would describe as progressive metal. The core foundation of the compositions here is a steady, vibrant and driving bass and drum combination that propels these songs onward and forward, and combined with the guitars there is often a bit of a stoner feel to the core landscapes explored here. The more interesting bits about this band is what they build upon this foundation of course. A vital ingredient throughout are guitar riffs, movements and details that come with a little bit of an off kilter feel to them. Quirky movements with an atonal quality, riffs with a quirky and not quite logical pattern, and unusual tones and timbres applied. Not quite to the extent that one might describe this as avant-oriented, but with a bit of an avant undercurrent as well as a dark psychedelic vibe. The often constant use of electronic effects adds a cosmic touch to the proceedings, and while space rock vibes are present the end result will often be arrangements that come with associations towards landscapes with more of a bleak, otherworldly and alien nature. This is a band that wouldn't have to alter much in order to go head first into Lovecraftian landscapes, and as a matter of fact the lyrics for these songs come with words and phrases that actually inspire thoughts in that direction in the first place. Other elements of note is that the songs will typically feature at least one intermission or interlude where the band tone down the riffs and intensity to explore landscapes with a more dampened or delicate nature, with lots of room for more careful effects to glide in. And those with a more intimate familiarity with Hawkwind will also find the use of the shouted, subtly dramatic vocal style to be a familiar detail that does add a little bit of emphasis to the space rock associations that also comes as a part of the associations package with this band and this album.

Conclusion. While the music explored by Yurt on "IV - The Obstacle Is Everything" most likely can be described and classified in a good handful of different manners, for me progressive metal will be the main tag here for me. A more detailed description might be psychedelic avant space metal, although other descriptions might do just as well too. But if a dark and subtly unnerving variety of metal with a bit of a space rock orientation and subtle avant sensibilities sounds like a good thing to you, chances are good that you'll find the bleak cosmic landscapes of this album to be rather captivating.

Progmessor: February 2023
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