November 27, 2013

Yellow Eyes - Hammer of Night

Written by Matt Hinch.

Caught in a deathlike silence, the night is still. Gently falling snow lays down a bed of white amid the darkness. Shadows suck the moon's light from the forest, leaving the division of dark and light stark and definite. In the stillness a creature cowers against the cold. Hiding. Hiding from the light and the death it brings. For in the shadows it is safe from the prowlers of night, the hunters in the trees or those slinking between them, silent as the night itself. There is small solace taken in knowing death would come swiftly, but the fear is real and ever-present. They are always there. Watching. Waiting. Those Yellow Eyes.

On Hammer of Night, Yellow Eyes evoke those feeling of terror, fear and grace through six searing and dynamic tracks. Pounding drums beat with the frantic pace of a frightened heart. Black metal tremolos soar through mountain forests and glide through the valleys on the wings of majestic melodies. Desperate and raw vocals call on ancient forces to temper the fire that burns inside. The visceral screams buried deep in the mix speak with a barely restrained desire for expression of dreamlike fragments of a more complex whole.

Dramatic songs embody a deep reverence for the hills in which they were conceived and recorded, and by extension the greater majesty of earth's wonders. From the way light falls on the landscape in the face of a setting sun, to the bone chilling cold howling through proud pines, every aspect of nature's raw beauty is represented. Danger and darkness, light and longing, fear, forgiveness, cold and warmth, heartbreak and healing are all there in the careening riffs and undulating melodies.

Through the seething might of USBM, Yellow Eyes recognize our need to respect that which nurtures us instead of being a blight upon her surface. Humanity; a festering sore consuming the life giver unchecked.

The Hammer of Night falls heavy in the forest leaving a hole into which the listener is swept in the lightless cold of night. It beckons to be explored only to swallow whole those who dare enter its embrace. There are Yellow Eyes down there in the darkness and they are calling to you with a sinister elegance and a feral soul. Heed the call of one of the year's best black metal releases.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2013, black metal, Matt Hinch, Yellow Eyes
  1. Sounds like a Krallice cover band.

  2. A dirtier, more chaotic Krallice, yes. Or, a more black metal (and less annoying) Liturgy. Still an excellent album.

  3. Hmm, I don't hear Krallice there. At all. But yeah, excellent album.

    1. Well, the guitarist(s) here isn't on the same level as Barr/Marston, but the progressions are undoubtedly similar.

  4. I don't really hear Krallice either. USBM yes, but not Krallice clones.