Album Review: YETI ON HORSEBACK The Great Dying
I condemn a lot of the doom metal bands that I write about on this site for spending too much time dicking around with the same riff and becoming self masturbatory. I attack them for forgetting that the point of doom is to have forward momentum and cycling a riff thirty times doesn't mean that you're creating something meditative but rather something boring. Of course, some bands can pull this off with aplomb, but odds are yours can't. That's why I love Yeti On Horseback so much, though they rarely stray from traditional stoner and doom metal ideas they have managed to craft something truly powerful on The Great Dying, something that captures the power of human suffering and forces you to acknowledge the nihilism of the human condition. Yet within that they never get oppressive – instead they just revel in the darkness and let you choke on the sublime blackness that they so clearly get off on. Yeti On Horseback is a look into the mirror and a remind of all the darkness that is to come.
The Great Dying gets me, not because of its sense of forward momentum but because of the clear understanding of songwriting that is implemented throughout. The band brings forth all sorts of wonderfully dark elements, choking you out on sheer volume and drowning you in an unholy bath of distortion. While a lot of their riffs wouldn't seem out of place on a stoner metal record, Yeti On Horseback slow everything down just enough that it feels like you are on a slow barge to hell. It's impossible to listen to these songs and not feel the world crashing down around you, see the spectral towers of a time forgot go up in flame and sense your own heart tearing apart at the seams. The meaty riffs, often contrasted by dissonant lines higher up on the spectrum gives the entire sound a rather discomfiting twist. You never find yourself resting in the music, rather the high powered guitar work and walking bass lines wind into your chest like a knife and then right when you think things can't get any more intense the band gives it another twist.
There is something impossibly demented about The Great Dying and even when the intensity lets down a bit you find yourself wondering where the fuck these guys came from. It's rare in this day and age that a band properly invoke the magic of the masters, bands like Lord Mantis and Indian, but The Great Dying sees the boys in Yeti On Horseback doing so with practiced ease. They stomp forward authoritatively, men who have seen the darker side of humanity, and are now telling you about the twisted madness within. As you roll forward you find yourself falling in reverse, suffocating under a storm of distortion and brilliantly thought out melodies. There is nothing that Yeti On Horseback can't do, as they prove with the heart wrenching guitar melodies on songs like Viking Mushroom Tea. Sure they have to develop, but they could be doom's hope for the future.