12 October, 2012

Yakuza: Beyul – new album


The “makers of true “world” music”, the band that “doesn’t really sound like anything else in metal, or anything else, period” but “a little like a very heavy bar band”, those who know how to “bend what momentarily felt familiar into a wormhole of alien intrigue”, “a metal band by association/a jazz band with metal influences” (according to here and here at least), YAKUZA, have their new album ‘Beyul’ streamed in full here at Brooklyn Vegan. They describe themselves as an avant-garde metal band, their label, Profound Lore Records, adds “jazz-influenced progressive metal” definition, their album was recorded with Stanford Parker and it awaits you here (Profound Lore store). ‘Beyul’ is due October 16th, 2012:
“With ‘Beyul’ YAKUZA have followed-up ‘Of Seismic Consequence’ [2010 album] with another storming and moving triumph that will bring even more recognition and respect to YAKZUA, the recognition they should have been getting since the beginning of their career. Led once again by renaissance musician and band vocalist and saxophone player Bruce Lamont, ‘Beyul’ continues to see YAKUZA's revolutionary style that they’ve always known to carry come to the fore. While at the same time the band taking it to the next level with a stronger sense of straightforward more-accessible songwriting and melody that finds its way within the storming chaos, which has only heightened the YAKUZA listening experience that much more,” [recommends the label]

Formed by guitarist Eric Plonka in 1999 in Chicago, who, along with drummer Jim Staffel, added bassist Eric Clark to the YAKUZA lineup through an add he had put out and had answered an add placed in local newspaper by vocalist and saxophonist Bruce Lamont, the band released their first album, ‘Amount To Nothing’, in 2000 through independent label Product del Diablo. The album that was met with much critical praise, brought about a contract with Century Media Records on which YAKUZA released their second full-length album, 2002's ‘Way Of The Dead’. The album closed off with the 43-minute instrumental track, ‘01000011110011’,  yet it was Bruce Lamont's vocal capabilities that left a mark on William York, AllMusic:
“Through much of the album, Bruce Lamont's strained vocals give the impression that he is suffering some sort of paranoia-induced anxiety attack, but his semi-shouted vocals still carry a surprising amount of melody, which is welcome considering how many bands in this style try to get by on shouting alone; that said, his vocals are still unusual and may be an acquired taste,” [more here]
YAKUZA's come back album, 2006's ‘Samsara’, was issued through Prosthetic Records as would be its follower, 2007's ‘Transmutations’, featuring guitarist Matt McClelland and bassist John E. Bohmer. Once again produced by Stanford Parker, ‘Of Seismic Consequence’ followed in 2010 on Profound Lore Records; YAKUZA's fifth LP was awarded with 4 1/2 rating (out of 5) by Allmusic whose Phil Freeman wrote:
“When the album concludes with the slowly building ‘Deluge’ the ultimate impression is of a band that’s finally found its voice and is ready to take listeners on a journey that mirrors the human mind - frequently introspective, but just as frequently given to flashes of blind fury,” [more here]
Courtesy the label, listen to the full ‘Of Seismic Consequence’ here (BandCamp) or via the embed below:

YAKUZA: Of Seismic Consequence

YAKUZA features: James Staffel – drums, Bruce Lamont – vocals and saxophone, Matt McClelland – guitar and vocals, Ivan Cruz - bass

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