Yovel were our Band of the Day back in June last year and delivered some of the briefest answers we’ve ever had. After exorcising our mailbox, it seems we’ll need to get all the priests back out again as they’ve been in touch to tell us that their album, Hɪðəˈtu, is now out. And, no, I don’t know how to pronounce it. What I do know, is that it is a brilliant piece of black metal.
There are only seven tracks, but the whole thing runs for forty minutes courtesy of a couple of longer numbers. Nothing seems to drag, though, as those more time-consuming entries (“Voices of Self”, “Song of the Coming” and “Centennial”) are epics, with plenty of flow; atmospheric without being ambient.
It’s the vocal delivery that gets me most of all. There seems to be more than one vocalist, or at least a good use of backing vocals, and some parts of the songs just sound like they’ve been written to be performed live. Not just played, but acted out and delivered. Yovel aren’t scared to mix up the fast and heavy with some slow and acoustic, though. Some sections are one, some the other and a couple actually blend acoustic rhythms with a distorted electric lead and moderately fast drumming. I admit I’m not one to listen to much black metal, but if it was all as good as this I probably would.
If I had to pick a “top track” from the album, I think I’d pluck “Song of the Coming” out. The riff introduced at the beginning is almost an undercurrent through the whole thing. It pops to the fore in several places, often in quite a powerful way, bringing the track to a temporary halt. It really is like listening to a musical, not just a single song on an album.
The use of spoken word fragments (from Judgment at Nuremberg) which form the background to the musically schizophrenic “(Too) Late Capitalism” really help to create a superb track also.
Yovel have a great piece of work here. Dark and evil enough to satisfy those already converted to the world of black metal, while accessible to those of us who do sometimes still walk in sunlight.
Hɪðəˈtu is out now and available via bandcamp – play it below