Yarostan – II
Captivating and punishing in equal measure, fans of screamo and post-metal could equally enjoy this expansive adventure.
For their latest album II, French five-piece Yarostan “Sat down to write music together, and Nico Aanklacht recorded the results in our practice room”. The ‘results’ are actually quite impressive, even more so considering they were captured outside of standard studio environment, perhaps. While some elements can sound somewhat lo-fi, I believe this is probably a creative choice considering how brightly other aspects shine.
Opening with “Mineral”, Yarostan begin bludgeoning and blasting their way into the record, introducing quite a familiar screamo verse of sorts, before breaking it right down and lingering on a mellow, almost folky passage. They do manage to pack a lot of textures together in a way that really compliments the overall sound, they aren’t afraid of calling back the intensity leaving acoustic guitars to lead proceedings; making their frenetic screamo parts all the more electrifying when they return. On “Les mains vides”, the band include much more of a metal vibe. Heavy chugging guitars and chromatic mathy sections, usually shunned by screamo purists, really work here on elevating their epic soaring crescendos.
“Jouer dans les ruines” provides an ethereal atmosphere, with the use of group vocals in an almost choral style,the addition of well placed silence and a very gradual reintroduction of instruments creates a sense of lush serenity as a very welcome mid record rest for the listener. “Aux miroirs brises” introduces harsh electronic elements, further expanding the sonic palette as the band build to a brooding post-metal swagger. This track in particular shows their skills in contrasting the slight and beautiful melodies alongside crushing heaviness and driving post hardcore. Album closer “L’attente a fait un desert des jardins de notre jeunesse” does a great job of tying all the tracks together, combining their many strands together to construct a colossal opus, allowing the wallowing subtlety to breathe and also reaching peak brutality.
II is a real journey, captivating and punishing in equal measure, fans of screamo and post-metal could equally enjoy this expansive adventure, from the opening feedback squeal to the final smash of a wind chime dropping, which feels like a symbolic letting go of the record as they release it into the world.