Queen Elephantine
Yatra


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Banick USER (30 Reviews)
July 31st, 2008 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tarpedon, son of Zeus, ride on to Illion

Queen Elephantine’s latest EP, Yatra, takes the plodding desert camel ride aesthetic of their debut full-length, 2007’s ode to Hindu sun goddess Surya, and pushes it further into the dry barren fringe of narcotic lo-fi stoner drone. It is also their most accomplished work so far, with a line-up overhaul after a base change from Hong Kong to New York City, and featuring some of the best improvisatory modal psychedelia yet to come from the group.

There are many obvious changes in sound here. The first thing is the lack of the auxiliary percussionist who colored Surya’s plodding beats with additional washes of cymbals and exotic bongo patterns. In place of the dual percussionists of releases past stands only one man behind the kit, New Yorker Chris Dialogue. His rhythms are deceptively layered and nuanced, but more importantly, his switches from gargantuan cymbal-smashing ferocity to placidly propulsive groove add a whole new level of dynamic intensity to the band’s music.

The music still carries the exotic punch of the past, however. The Eastern sensibilities of the band manifest themselves in the meditative drone climaxes that characterize both tunes, and “Chariot in Solemn Procession” brings back the familiar tanpura drone from previous releases. It’s used brilliantly, creating a hypnotic swirl over which the band paints its most imposing doom epic yet. The climax sees a pulsing, bassy groove explode into overdriven chaos and Sleep-esque anthemic chants while the stolid, unflinching tanpura drills its presence into your head.

Opener “Droning Earth” is a two-part epic, beginning with licks of feedback that transmute into a thunderous fuzz riff, laying the seeds for a groove which the band will explore infinitely over the next ten minutes, leaving no sun-drenched stone unturned, no meticulous, consciousness-altering repetition unfulfilled. The vocals in the first section maneuver the riff with an addicting, stoned swagger as if Queens of the Stone Age's most seductive tendencies were married with swathes of mutating feedback. The second section abandons the up-front presence of vocals for a towering instrumental jam that pulses with tribal urgency and marries cosmic Pink Floyd-esque aspirations with endless deserts and a focus on channeling the mysteries of the bold red sun.

The guitar riffs are meandering in an exploratory sense, using simple motifs to establish the world and then going off and exploring from there. The bass work is also far more adept than in the past; and, while lacking the outright monolithic fuzz presence of Surya, the syrupy groove with which the bassist slinks through these songs locks in with the drums for a rhythm section that grabs you by the throat and propels you to the frontline of these monolithic marches.

Queen Elephantine purveys a new era of doom/drone metal in the tradition of star-gazing doom acts like Ufomammut. But more importantly the group traverses other realms of musical exploration in a way similar to the Six Organs of Admittance ilk, with their merging of Eastern and Western flavors to a bed of psychedelic aspiration.



Recent reviews by this author
Ra Black SunProjeKct X Heaven and Earth
Andrew Hill Compulsion!!!!!The Nels Cline Singers Draw Breath
John Coltrane Live in JapanJack Rose I Do Play Rock and Roll
user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kage
July 31st 2008


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the band put the EP up for free download:

http://queenelephantine.clfrecords.com/yatra.html

charlesfishtitz
July 31st 2008


784 Comments


i didnt think this would ever get a review....and i figured if it ever got one, it would be
totally shitty..

but nope.


thanks for doing this one.


This Message Edited On 07.31.08

Eliminator
July 31st 2008


2067 Comments


ooo this sounds exotic

Kage
July 31st 2008


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes indeed it is

gmoneyguy
July 31st 2008


108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't listened to this in a while. I need to give it a listen soon.

brandtweathers
August 1st 2008


2007 Comments


youve been a machine with these reviews banick. hows adderall lately?

Kage
August 1st 2008


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually it's probably because ive been taking fewer drugs lately

but mainly ive got time right now; don't know how much ill have in the coming months

any14doomsday
August 2nd 2008


679 Comments


yep this is pretty damn good

hymano
August 3rd 2008


30 Comments


it seems the download is broken..... I've tried twice, and only the second track works.

Can someone post up a mediafire.com link of the first song?
thanks.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy