Released: 2012, Avantgarde Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Echoes of Yul is 2 man team from Poland, and man, do they have a love jones for one Mr. Justin K. Broadrick, aka, the creative mind behind Godflesh, aka, the only industrial metal band that ever really mattered. The press release for the pair’s full length debut COLD GROUND touts their affection for the guy’s work with Godflesh and Jesu, so it should be no surprise that COLD GROUND wears its inspiration emblazoned upon its sleeve. That being said, inspiration only goes so far…
Broadrick was a creative trailblazer for this style of music, and since the late 80’s there’s been no shortage of acts following in his footsteps. But here’s where most of them miss the mark – what made Godflesh and Jesu such ruthlessly powerful outputs was their integration of organic, human contributions with mechanically cold industrialized elements. The dichotomy of raging, sweat fueled guitars clashing against machine measured precision created a uniquely harsh musical environment, and a distinct library of actual songs. Echoes of Yul steps in this same pitfall; there’s spooky atmosphere for days, but there’s no real content to speak of. It’s unquestionably a dark and uncomfortable record, but it’s all predominantly generated through synth and samples. COLD GROUND succeeds in the same way that a great horror soundtrack succeeds – it sets a mood, but that’s about all. There’s little across the album’s 13 tracks that you really latch on to, as each tune tends to feed into the next without a whole lot of individual identity.
That being said, if you were to get baked and play COLD GROUND while watching the movie SEVEN, I’m sure it’d be a fine accompaniment. I give Echoes of Yul credit for following their hearts, and there are indeed some fine moments spread across the album, just not enough to make a compelling purchase argument. Check out their Bandcamp link for a free download of the track “Numbers” and draw your own conclusions. http://echoesofyul.bandcamp.com/