Released: 2006, Osmose Productions
Yyrkoon is one of those bands that have been kicking around for a long time (their first album came out in 1998), but has somehow failed to get the recognition their longevity deserves. Belched forth from France over a decade ago, Yyrkoon is a death metal institution, having released 3 full-length albums and an E.P. As well, band leader Stephane Souteryrand is a member of grindcore warriors Aborted, who turned a lot of heads with their 2003 opus, GOREMAGEDDON: THE SAW AND THE CARNAGE DONE. Now with the support of legendary label Osmose behind them, perhaps UNHEALTHY OPERA is the album to finally bring some acclaim to the Yyrkoon camp.
From the opening crushing chords of the title track (skip the naff intro), it’s obvious that Yyrkoon mean business: pure, no-frills death metal is the order of the day, and they’re here to serve you a massive helping of it. It is immediately apparent that the band are masters of their craft, as each song flows seamlessly and contains just enough melody to be memorable. Guitar solos are plentiful and well-played, but this is no dual-guitar Gothenburger melo-death fest.
Lyrically, the band foregoes the usual blood/guts/Satan standards. Instead, they’ve created a “theme” album of songs inspired by Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos, a nice change of pace. Of course, Souteryrand’s vocals are indecipherable for the most part, but those with booklets should get a kick out of the lyrics.
All in all, UNHEALTHY OPERA is a refreshing slab of professional death metal that is easily recommended to all death fans.