Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
YT//ST


4.7
superb

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
February 8th, 2013 | 233 replies | 10,364 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Noh-Wave", experimental, diasporic artists reinventing the foundation of rock-n'-roll

It's immediately apparent the personalities we're dealing with upon review of the YT//ST website, dubbed "Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Research Labs". YT//ST isn't just a band; they represent an artistic movement dedicated to not only an amalgam of genres that hasn't really been done before, but also an exploration of art and cultural history by way of musical interpretation. Of course it sounds a bit ridiculous and maybe pretentious, but it's partially supposed to appear so. YT//ST represent a breed of artist ferociously dedicated to, well, art.

Obviously, YT//ST as a record is incapable of conveying the visual stimuli that the group is known for at their live or theater performances. The "2.5D" monochromatic, mangaesque set designs may not be physically capable of instantaneous materialization. But musically, the self-titled debut is quite possibly (!!HYPERBOLE ALERT!!) one of the most ground-breaking rock records ever made, dripping emotion from every note and conviction through every chord. Effectively channeling influences from all over the map, the duo shift seamlessly between a prog-rock melange of Boris-influenced noise rock, Boredoms-esque spastic experimentation, and modern psychedelia. Rhythmically, they are complex and tight, but the main draw of YT//ST is its uncanny ability to ebb and flow (much like the incredible cover art, if you stare long enough...); "Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider" evolves from feedback and noise through some seriously epic guitar-driven rock and finally to a transitional psychedelic jam that seemingly never ends in its tension crescendo.

But the most truly breathtaking moment here is easy to pinpoint on first listen - within the four minute and forty-three second confines of "Hoshi Neko", Yamantaka // Sonic Titan establish themselves as master songwriters. The lo-fi intro nearly plays speaker trickery, but is the perfect precursor to the epic, catchy, heavy, and simultaneously delicate performance to come. Vocalist Ruby Kato Attwood gives the most emotive performance I've heard in at least a few years, while apparently singing in nearly incomprehensible, broken Japanese. Had I not read this in an interview, I'd be none the wiser, as her delivery is truly heart-wrenching. This perfectly exemplifies the entire point of YT//ST as a collective: to go outside of the typical western comfort zone and experience their cultural heritage through art and song. Even attempting such a performance in the native tongue of one's ancestors is an honor; succeeding is a triumph. Unfortunately, "Hoshi Neko" overshadows the almost equally-as-excellent noise rock experimentation of "A Star Over Pureland" (this bleeds John Zorn) and the extended prog/tribal jam of "Crystal Fortress Over the Sea of Trees". Ultimately, the record implodes with a final subdued tribal chant, tying together the very essence of this seven-track-long cultural exploration.

It's a rare thing when new talent like this arises, hopefully YT//ST continues to hone their self-dubbed "Noh-Wave" movement (a creative pun combining the Japanese form of musical drama and the musical genre). At this point, it's no stretch of the imagination that the group is easily capable of putting out a truly classic record; I haven't been this excited for a band in a long fucking time. YT//ST, if you're reading this, color this reviewer impressed, and sorry I'm almost two years late to the party.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

i almost wrote this review is dedicated to aids but that probably doesn't sound right. thanks for linking this in mezz sputnik user Aids (top 5 users)

wabbit
February 8th 2013



6978 Comments


yeah this fucking rocks

Winesburgohio
February 8th 2013



1006 Comments


2deep4me i fear, i hope it grows on me. i really really like reverse crystal though!



Digging: Wretched Excess - Away From This World

chambered99
February 8th 2013



780 Comments


star over pureland best fuckin thing ever

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

its ok 4.5/5

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2013



1637 Comments


nothing more beautiful than the murder of a spider

Digging: My Brightest Diamond - None More Than You

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2013



4382 Comments


The second paragraph pretty much sold me. I have got to listen to this

Really good review, Sobhi.

chambered99
February 8th 2013



780 Comments


ugh 2nd half of reverse crystal uughhhh these guys are so mesmerizing

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this review is ok 4.5/5

album is ok too 4.5/5

awww bro thanks for the shout-out, it was 4.5/5

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

ya man fucking love this record. i listen to it at least once a day

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

4.7/5 is the perfect score for this. sobhi pull some strings and get me .1 increments damn it.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

@aids it's prob a 12/5

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

alright bruv i'll put in a word

chambered99
February 8th 2013



780 Comments


their sophomore is apparently called star and is gonna be HUGE

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahaha

"trending other albums

(III)
Biophilia

Visions
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming"



hmmmm im in the mood for some 'other' today let's go to sputnik and see what's trending

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

@sam got any links?

yea other is such a good genre

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2013



10258 Comments


way too long who did you plagiarize this from sobhi

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 8th 2013



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

i save my long reviews for releases that have already been out for 2 years man

fromtheinside
February 8th 2013



17714 Comments


sobhi i feel like you're having the most fun with the new rating system

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

fromtheinside
February 8th 2013



17714 Comments


and obviously i need this.



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