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Yakuza – samsara

Posted on: January 26, 2009


You won´t get the chance for too many metal bands at urbanology, so don´t chuck away this chance 🙂 … have a try

I only remember one other metal record at this blog (beside some metal-influenced hardcore bands), Sepultura´s milestone  “roots”. And I like to listen to well done metal from time to time, but only a very few records are worth a posting. Similar to samsara (to millions of followers of Hindu and Buddhism, the term samsara is the endless cycle of birth, suffering, death, and rebirth, something which only the truly enlightened can ultimately transcend) metal music has always had a cyclical quality, as many bands have been inspired by the seminal albums of the genre, but few have actually managed to achieve that musical awakening, that one epiphanical piece of work that not only stands out above the music of their peers, but also shakes the sound right down to its foundations. Instead, most just keep perpetuating the metal clichés. But in the last decade at the edges of metal a new breed is on the jump, listen for example to the instrumental beauty of Pelican or the epic and dark stories from Cult of Luna (from Umeå). Of course there were bands like Neurosis or Tool before.

When you look at the fine gatefold cover and read that there is a band member that plays saxophone and clarinet, you know it’s not going to be the usual metal album. Nothing like any metal you’ve heard for quite a bit, Yakuza is a breathe of fresh air to the waves of today’s metal. The band delves into world music with the enthusiasm of a four year-old running through a music store for the first time, banging this, strumming that. But Yakuza’s crucial point is their inclusion of saxophone and clarinet. Blending electric and organic instrumentation is never easy for such extreme-leaning bands, but as Yakuza proved on their bold, eye-opening “Way of the Dead” (2002), which prompted skeptics to wonder just how they’re going to market music like this, the band does have the ability to appeal to spin-kicking youngsters, post rock hipsters, and jazz lovin’ oldsters alike, if only they can maintain an adequate balance of the aggressive, the experimental, and the melodic throughout the course of an entire album.

Some parts of “Samsara” are definitely stronger than others. The record (with a splendid production by Matt Bayles (Isis, Pearl Jam)) would have been an perfect album had the focus been more on the maniacal side of the band’s sound instead of the mechanical, but it is still an inspired, diverse, invigorating piece of work that will leave listeners wondering just what this highly talented band is capable of accomplishing next. Well, put on the headphones, clear your calendar of distractions, indulge in the mind-enhancing substance of your choice, and let the whole freaky thing slither into your brain from beginning to end.

Back to the mountain.


5 Responses to "Yakuza – samsara"

Hey there! Your blog is great, i´m adding you to my link list. Cheers!

Hey, I’m a fan of the blog, and also an upcoming producer that has recently completed a CD consisting of remixes and blends. I was wondering if you’d be able to help me promote a little by possibly posting it up on your blog. You can listen to some of the tracks at http://www.last.fm/music/Emay/A.D.D.+(Altered+Dynamic+Dimensions)

Dope post btw.

You can contact me at mubbi_3@hotmail.com

I’d really appreciate feedback. Peace

hi mubarik, I will check out your music for sure and give you some feedback soon, greetings

okay thanks man. hit me up soon!

oh, and here’s the download link, http://sharebee.com/899de677

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