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YATRA - Blood of the Night

Release date January 31/20 (Static Era Records)

Everyone knows that a doom metal release is judged on the quality of the riffs, so Maryland's Yatra place their uber-weighty quakes front and centre to ensure maximum effect on their sophomore full length, Blood of the Night. We're talkin' elephantine riffs that Tony Iommi would be proud to call his own. For this reason alone, stoner aficionados will be eagerly lining up to get their copy.

However, Yatra aren't a one-trick pony. Two other elements they utilize should add to the expected rave reviews, one being the vocal style employed here, eschewing the normal warble mumblings found on doom metal releases. Here a raspy growl is employed instead, one that is usually found on more extreme releases - cool. Additionally, Dana Helmuth's lead guitar work is astonishing when it rears its ugly head. Truly over-the-top quakes that veer toward otherworldly, he takes feedback and manipulates it into a mind-blowing expulsion of sound. More next outing, dammit!

Is this the year of the damaged sub-woofer? Doom metal purveyors have laid down the gauntlet early this year.

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