Though the dark intrusive provocation unleashed by French metallers Yugal upon their new EP Enter The Madness may not be carving out a dramatically original bedlam, its raw and uncompromising attitude and skilled enterprise makes it an encounter which rigorously infests the imagination and passions. The five track tempest of sound and aggression is an easily accessible and demandingly intensive affair. It holds no major surprises but rewards attendance with a predatory fusion of thrash, death, and groove metal which captivates imagination and appetite alike with its riveting raw sound and invention.
Hailing from Vannes in Brittany, Yugal formed in 2010 with their first demo From Pain to Pleasure emerging the following year. It was the striking six track EP Illusion of Time in 2013 which drew a certain concentrated attention upon the quintet but it is easy to predict that Enter The Madness will be the most potent trigger in thrusting the band into a greater deserved spotlight. Infused with supposedly oriental spices, though we suggest they are more Middle Eastern seeded, the new EP reveals a band which has impressively matured in songwriting and sound whilst retaining the passion and superbly sculpted hostility which marked its predecessor. Arguably the release lacks the unique character to set itself apart from the busy crowd but you can easily feel the potential of that realisation lying in wait within the extremely pleasing proposition.
The release opens with an instant lure of Spanish bred guitar as Mindless Fool edges into view. It is an enchanting entrance which immediately has thoughts grouping around its emotive texture. The gentle coaxing is soon submerged in a tempestuous roar of thumping rhythms and intensive riffing, a furious but deliberately shaped storm which tenderises the senses ready for the irresistible grooves which begin veining through the thick fury. Those Eastern kissed grooves come with a mischievous swagger, a relish which also permeates the coarse rapacious vocals at times, both sauntering through ears with a confident contagion and magnetic toxicity. The track is a scintillating incitement, setting the release off on a major pinnacle which truthfully is worried but never matched again.
The following Free Jail though gives it a more than valid go, its opening bluster of causticity through again rampant rhythms and coarsely grazing riffs a formidable invitation into mystique clad grooves and refreshing hooks. Group vocals behind the lead provocation also add to the fullness of sound and narrative as the song evolves into something comparable in many ways to Bloodsimple meets Sepultura with extra fuel from Cryptopsy. The guitars weave an enthralling suggestiveness upon the compelling canvas built by the brutal rhythms and predatory basslines, whilst vocally the band reaches deep into its malevolence and anger to bruise the senses just as voraciously though they equally come with an intrigue and swing which makes addictive bait. It is an absorbing antagonist soon matched by the title track, its entrance upon a barbarous flurry of rhythmic intent another viciously catchy beckoning. That infectiousness continues across the whole track as the guitars once again cast woven grooves and melodic acidity into the annihilatory riffery prowling thoughts alongside the dark hearted bass. The song proceeds to ravage and seduce with increasing success and strength, building to a fiery finale which leaves ears ringing and appetite greedy.
Psychotic wraps the ears initially in a reserved sonic ambience though one with a portentous air to its touch; a menacing feeling which soon intensifies with the entrance of intimidating guitar hues and eventually a ravenous assault of drums within similarly rapacious but inviting sonic twists and colour. Though the music does not match its title initially, there is a brewing bedlam behind the driving drums and scarring riffing which without ever truly exploding ensures the track is a constant skittish and evocative antagonist for the psyche. Vocals and guitars again impress with their unpredictable and fluent shifts in attack and designs respectively, whilst the wall of sinews built by drums and the at times bestial tones of the excellent bass work, create an inescapable cage you only want to be confined within.
Another scarring crescendo sees the track make way for the closing Fearless Pride, its appearance also coming upon an intimidating sonic mist which is subsequently speared and stretched by the citric sonic craft and adventure of the guitars. Arguably the most corrosive and raw track on the release, its body a more ‘messy’ and undefined ferocity which only adds to the enjoyment, the song bruises like a wounded bear yet captures the imagination like a gladiatorial warrior. It makes for an intensive and highly satisfying conclusion to the release even without matching earlier successes. With a great and skilled evocative instrumental hidden in its shadows, Enter the Madness feeds ears and passions with a highly accomplished and exciting incitement where to be honest only a major lack of originality is its only issue. You feel listening to the EP that Yugal is still in evolution in sound and distinctiveness but that it is only a matter of time and we for one cannot wait.
The self-released Enter The Madness is available now @ http://yugal.bandcamp.com
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