Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Ah, I always feel like an asshole when I have less than glowing things to say about bands like Yyrkoon. They’re gifted musicians who produce their albums well, and seem dedicated to making nothing but the most professional death-thrash. I mean really, who could ask for more? I’ve tried making music with other people, and I can’t imagine the kind of hard work it takes to sound so heavy and cohesive. I’m totally impressed, but I’m not entertained.
The biggest problem I have with this album is how easily it dissolves into background music. While the Fear Factory meets Heartwork-era Carcassdeath-thrash is well executed, it seems to chug and thrash so aimlessly that my mind has a hard time finding anything worth latching onto. What’s even more frustrating is that even though lead guitarist Geoffry Gautier shows a very keen melodic sensibility while soloing, he rarely uses his talents to add some dynamism to the riffs themselves. The title track is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The opening riff comes right out of the Amott/Steer school of duel melodic riffing and there is indeed a flashy solo thrown in for good measure, but the song spends so much time wallowing in this boring mid-paced limbo that it does little for me other than reinforce the face that Yyrkoon know how to piece together a respectable metal song. Other songs, like the mid paced “Avatar Ceremony” and the chugging “Screaming for Shores” sound similarly professional but still struggle for my attention against whatever other menial tasks I’m engaged in while I’m listening to them.
The obstacles Yyrkoon have to overcome become clearer the more you listen to Unhealthy Opera. The first is the uncanny resemblance each song on the album seems to share with the one after it. If I was blown away by one song on this album, which I have to admit I’m not, I’m sure I would have had my fill after being subjected to ten replicas. Yyrkoon present the listener with an album of very average and similar sounding compositions. A second, and more sinister obstacle, is their sterilizing production. While it conforms the latest industry standards, it strips the band of any semblance of humanity. It’s so clinical and anodyne that I find myself wishing Unhealthy Opera was over every time I reach the halfway point. On the upside, however, the bass is produced with great clarity and proves to be an actual contributor in a few tracks.
It’s obvious I don’t like this album. But, I should point out that Occult Medicine got a perfect score two years ago on this site, and I don’t think this album is any worse than that one. I do see a lot of potential in this band, but at this point they seem pretty comfortable with the style they play, and I doubt they’ll come along to my way of thinking any time soon. With music, it’s all about what moves you, and this type of anti-septic death-thrash just doesn’t do it for me.