Here’s a few throwaway statements to kick off our review of All Hail The Yeti’s sophomore album:
Heavy metal concept albums; nuthin’ new.
U.S. metalcore; it’s pretty much run its course.
Horror in metal; heard it all before, the two go together like fish ‘n’ chips.
So why should we give a damn about a horror story concept album from L.A’s All Hail The Yeti? It’s a valid question. After all, the familiar tropes are trotted out by All Hail The Yeti with bullish regulatory; screamed verses balanced by cleanly sung choruses, soaring melodies grounded by chugging riffs and dual leads propelled by double-kick drums. So why bother?
As far as conundrums go, this is an easy one. With a slightly perverse mix of Pantera, Atreyu and Every Time I Die bridging the gap between sludgy Southern metal and metalcore, All Hail The Yeti actually live up to their unique name; somewhat of an anomaly in the metalcore ranks but still very much part of the sub-genre nonetheless and Screams From A Black Wilderness is a surprisingly mature record full of nuance and rewards.
With a terrific talent for making the most cunning melody still sound desperately nihilistic, the songwriting skill on Screams From A Black Wilderness is immediately apparent and worthy of high praise. Coherent and with a flow that pulls you through the entire album, you’ll find yourself never once wishing – or needing – to skip a track and therefore you never lose sight of the ‘concept’. Talking of which, it’d be rude not to address the nightmarish scenarios that underpin the stories woven here. Suffice to say, All Hail The Yeti conjure dreadful scenes in the minds eye, horrific camp-fire tales of humanity’s pain and suffering, twisting and morphing these songs into ever more jagged shapes that match the spiky riffs and the barbed vocals of the highly impressive Connor Garritty.
That being said, there’s a delicious head-banging bounce – the lazy Pantera comparisons come into play here – to the swampy riffs and mountain man grooves that ooze through the likes of “Nemesis Queen” and “Sun Will Never Set”. Not forgetting that “Mr Murder”, featuring the recognisable tones of 36 Crazyfists’ Brock Lindow, is as addictable as a box of heroin laced donuts, hit single material and then some!
And there’s the recommendation, Screams From A Black Wilderness is home to excellent songwriting bolstered by memorable performances and hard-hitting subject matter. We thought we were completely and utterly bored with metalcore and there was nothing new to discover….but then we stumbled across the yeti! All hail! 8/10