The yeti may be a mythological creature from the higher reaches of the world’s highest mountain range, but the quartet who pay homage to ‘him’ in their band name are a whiskey- and blood-soaked loud-as-fuck riff machine from the deepest, darkest underbelly of Los Angeles. They may also well be one of the biggest finds Planet Mosh has made this year.
This self-titled debut album is ten tracks of in your face, aggressive yet atmospheric and groove laden hardcore metal: OK, this writer hates the term ‘metalcore’, mainly because of the way in which it has been hi-jacked by a bunch of skinny, over-tattooed twats with dodgy haircuts who use it as an alternative description of ‘screamo shit’ – but, if applied to a band who combine real metal sounds with proper hardcore attitude, who are well and truly metal to the core, then I will gladly apply it to AHTY (OK, that’s them pigeonholed into a corner they’ll not escape from)…
From the rumbling opening Nicholas Diltz’ battering ram bass riff on opener ‘Dark Creek’, this is a full on assault on the senses, very much in the mould of Clutch, Down and Eyehategod: it very much ploughs the furrow that these, and many other, acts have followed before, but it does so effectively and efficiently and with enough ‘fuck you’ attitude that by the time they are taking you on a trip to ‘Suicide Woods’ you are a more than a willing victim to the brutality being unleashed upon you.
‘After The Great Fire’ (built around a Metallica-style spoken word sample) is the album’s centrepiece and the sort of tune heavy metal was designed for – apocalyptic, epic, brutally heavy yet with a huge melody – and is brilliantly counterpointed by the equally brilliant ‘The Art Of Mourning’ (the two tracks separated by the comparatively weak but punchy ‘Bloodguilt’), with it’s deep southern blues accentuation, highlighted by the use of both harmonica and banjo.
The only quibble (although it is quite a big one) is closing track ‘Judas Cradle’, which starts off as superb slab of hardcore aggression but quickly disintegrates into a needlessly-overlong (yes, it’s 20+ minutes) piece of psychedelic nonsense filled with birdsong and assorted other forest noises (which your humble reviewer gave up on subjecting himself to after about four minutes…). In other words, a totally shit ending to an otherwise impressive debut.
1. Deep Creek
2. When The Sky Falls
3. Suicide Woods
4. The Weak And The Wounded / After The Great Fire
6. The Art Of Mourning
7. I Am Wendigod
8. Axe Murder Hollow
9. Ruby Ridge (Every Knee Shall Bow)
10. Judas Cradle
‘All Hail The Yeti’ is out now on AFM Records.