We’ve featured Yovel a couple of times before, including a Band of the Day article some time ago. They Greek black metallers released their sophomore album Forthcoming Humanity at the start of this month and I’ve just had a chance to sit and listen to it.
The album is based on the writings of Greek revolutionary Tasos Leivaditis. One of his poems was so “subversive” that he was arrested for writing it! Less small-minded individuals awarded it a prize at a world festival in Warsaw, but it obviously annoyed the Greek authorities at the time. Regardless, it seems like a band who pride themselves on being “Black Metal For The Oppressed” have chosen some good subject matter.
Throughout, there are spoken word readings which I assume are the poems themselves in their original Greek. The music surrounds them, builds on them and takes inspiration from their essence. Harsh vocals within the songs are in English, and backed by fairly standard black metal guitar and drum fury. Nothing wrong with that, especially when it’s played as well as it is here.
Musically, Yovel don’t come up with any surprises in terms of style. It’s black metal, there’s only so much you can do. They’ve stuck to the traditional sound of this genre, but added a great theme to this work. It’s good to see and hear something inspired by writings from elsewhere, not just the usual angst and anger within the artist themselves. The contrast of the narrated sections, acoustic work and heavier elements is well managed and the whole album comes across as an actual whole piece – like a musical, not just a collection of disparate individual songs.