Roadburn 2018 – 038: Yellow Eyes
Mike Rekevics – drums
Alex DeMaria – bass
Sam Skarstad – guitar
Will Skarstad – guitar and vocals
Black metal is by now an ingrained part of Roadburn, and yet this year they seem to have outdone themselves in the effort of putting together a program of both great variety and quality with regards to the darker arts.
And few bands seem as appropriate to include in this program as Yellow Eyes.
Delivering on black metals general promise of visceral aggressiveness, there is still plenty of space in the music of Yellow Eyes for contemplation and soundscapes, setting an incredible atmosphere, perhaps reminiscent of the view over a varied, frozen landscape.
And there is something of a sense of watching a hunt – a pack of wolves attacking prey – the dynamics of the hunt – the patience and the bursts of energy – the stamina as well as the stretch – and the following restful period of relaxation.
There’s a really delightful sense of wilfull experimentation all over the music, and there is a certain intricacy to these compositions, making them seem very elaborate, but definitely not static.
“Final question to wrap things up. What does black metal mean to you?
Mike: To me, black metal is a spiritual war. Straight up. It came from heavy metal but it’s not rock’n’roll. It’s ecstatic devotional music to this abstract deification of self. To struggle to clean your mind, clean your heart, and clean your spirit of everything that’s chained you and to let loose like a primal scream. It is to hurt beautifully. That’s why I do it.
Will: I’ve had a visceral connection to the music since I first heard it. We may live in Brooklyn but a lot of the time we feel more at home in the woods or in Siberia. Black metal’s just a missing puzzle piece in my life. I’m not the Encyclopedia Metallum, but when I hear black metal done right, I know that there’s nothing I’d rather hear.”
Mike Rekevics & Will Skarstad in an interview with Noisey, October 2017
In a way, Yellow Eyes link together the many different parts that is black metal these days, in ways few other bands are able to., and that lets the listener get pleasurably lost along the way.
You too can get immersed in reverie as Yellow Eyes takes the stage in the Green Room on Thursday, April 19.
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Liveset, St. Vitus Bar, NYC, June 2017