Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Album Review - Nihaihayat by Yayla - 8.5/10

Art by Emir Toğrul
Yayla explodes out of the gates with this long-winded opus. Nihaihayat could be viewed as one of the high water marks for Turkish black metal. Although I'm not exactly well versed in black metal, I can safely say this album may live up to these so called allegations.

Nihaihayat spans 51 minutes across 5 tracks. Yep, you guessed it. You're going to be getting some lengthy pieces of material here. Yayla lays down different elements of the black metal genre in this release, which is a breath of fresh air considering many bands of the genre like to stick to one formula with their work. This works for the "diehards", sure, but I feel black metal has a lot more potential.

Getting into this album, you come up to the first track, "Integumental Grasp", that lays down the atmospheric side of this work. The chiming bells add a nice effect to the already ominous background. It almost sets you at ease but at the same time you are also set with an uneasiness of unknowing. It sounds a bit strange but you'll just have to listen to understand. This continues on for around five minutes and changes up in a few spots. Its a great opener and kind of gets you ready for the rest of the album in an odd way.

"Through The Sigil Of Hate" doesn't hesitate to submerge you into heavy, black metal style riffs. The roaring of Emir's vocals engulfs your soul even further into the chasm that he creates. Although this track may come off as repetitive to the naked ear, there is a lot more to it than the repeated riffage that occurs. You'll find a subtle poetic piece underlying the instrumentals, as well as hard to reach atmospheric elements that are also occurring at the same time. I'm quite certain it is on purpose, but even so it can be hard to hear these characteristics underneath all of the "fuzziness" that black metal tends to create. You'll come across well placed transitions that have a progressing quality to them. It feels like it opens up for the listener allowing a sort of exploration.

"Immortalizing The Nine" is most likely my favorite track of this record. This tune shows off more variety in composition. From the deep, poetic singing vocals combined with the doom-like riffs to the almost rock-like guitar riffs (not sure how else to explain it, but definitely a different genre could be a placed there). With this exploration, you get more variety of course. As you all may know, from previous reviews, I will always dig the variety. This may take away from the "true black metal" but let us be honest here; different can be good. Yayla proves to be one of the artists that turns music into a journey. "Immortalizing The Nine" is a great example of this. Also, that chilling vocal piece at the end may send chills down your spine.

"Disguises of Evil" clocks in as the longest track of the album, and to me feels like it could be the finisher of Nihaihayat just because of the set tone as the track progresses. In the beginning it feels much like that of the atmospheric black metal you find that seems to draw it's sound from desolation and cold. Although repetitive, which tends to be one of my main staples about black metal occasionally, it presents itself well and somehow is able to keep me listening. This "journey" builds more momentum near the end, "In Senility". "In Senility" is the second of the two atmospheric heavy tracks on Nihaihayat. It feels like a true resolution instead of an abrupt end or a cliffhanger.

Nihaihayat may not fancy those that are true to the old black metal styles. The combination of assaulting black metal and soothing atmospheric elements provides the listener with a style of black metal that many may not hear at a first glance. Yayla creates an album that kicks off the year the right way. So if you're looking for an album that differentiates the styles of black metal, you'll love this right away. Just make sure you have enough time to listen to at least one track.

Yayla

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Rating - 8.5/10
Release Date - January 21st, 2013

Track Listing

1. Integumental Grasp
2. Through The Sigil of Hate
3. Immortalizing The Nine
4. Disguises of Evil
5. In Senility

Lineup

Emir Toğrul - All Instruments and Vocals

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