Yakuza – “Fire Temple And Beyond” (Stereogum Premiere)

Chicago’s Yakuza don’t really sound like anything else in metal, or anything else, period. Vocalist Bruce Lamont (also of Bloodiest, Circle Of Animals) sings in a dark croon not unlike Layne Staley or Chris Cornell (or Profound Lore labelmate Erik Wunder of Cobalt and Man’s Gin), and contributes hypnotic, avant-garde-leaning saxophone work; there are heavy jazz and Middle Eastern influences guiding the writing and performances. The band’s forthcoming sixth album, Beyul, builds on their unique sound’s already epic grandeur. Recorded by Sanford Parker, it’s sharp and clean but devastatingly, almost suffocatingly heavy, often proceeding at a doom metal-esque gait, which only accentuates the precision and exhilaration when the band shreds (and when they do, it is truly a thing to behold). They’re a metal band by association, but that’s not an accurate appraisal of their work: Yakuza could almost just as easily be a jazz band with metal influences. Even that seems to ghettoize the band — in a weird sense, Yakuza are making true “world” music, finding sounds in disparate genres across the globe, and blending them to create something both new and old, something genuinely unique, something that is in fact pretty goddamned amazing. The 10-minute “Fire Temple And Beyond” is one of Beyul’s numerous highlights. Listen.

Yakuza – “Beyul”

Beyul is out 10/16 via Profound Lore. Tracklist here:

01 “Oil And Water”
02 “The Last Day”
03 “Man Is Machine”
04 “Fire Temple And Beyond”
05 “Mouth Of The Lion”
06 “Species”
07 “Lotus Array”

Tags: Yakuza