At first glance, Yoth Iria is the latest musical venture of Jim Mutilator, or Dimitris Patsouris, known for his past contribution to the idiom of black metal with Rotting Christ and Varathron, among others, The Magus, secondarily, on vocals, equally active in Thou Art Lord and Necromantia over the years, as elsewhere, of course.

Apart from the unnecessary, though useful, presentation of the central core of the musicians, George Emmanuel has contributed on the guitars, with whom, as well as Τhe Magus, I had the good fortune to discuss the upcoming release of the project, entitled ‘As the Flame Withers’, coming out on January 25, 2021. And in this regard, I found myself in Piraeus, at Pentagram Studio, in order to hear this work, in the presence of its creators and others also interested in it.

So, to the point, having listened to the previous EP, last January, having listened to the single for the split with Kawir, in the month that we are, someone immediately notices a huge improvement in the sound of the band (as if that was necessary, due to the already great sounding samples the band has produced), a more complete and global effort, extremely charming, equally, dark, and perhaps more personal, would assume.

Meaning that, in the 47 minutes during which the highly moving ‘As the Flame Withers’ unfolds, there is a variety of tempo and sounds, enough to be fulfilled for centuries, the structures of the tracks chaotic though, return to a very normal place, after all, a situation that is probably not preferred otherwise, due to the historical conjuncture, clearly, of the pandemic. Indeed, the album has from traditional blast beats and rather more Scandinavian passages, to more Mediterranean, and therefore familiar, Lydian, in fact, to speak strictly in musical terms. Several tonality changes, build-ups with redeeming parts, while we agree with the album’s creators that it has influences from Dark Throne to parts, closer to the doom playing-style of ‘Old Star’.

Quite orchestral, as well, either in intros or as bridges and outros, elsewhere it speeds up bringing Celtic Frost to the fore and a more punk feeling, in between, there are these folk influences, by the standards of Rotting Christ, and some heavy metal directions, which remind us a little of Abbath and Bathory, perhaps even of King Diamond. And yes, solos, Iron Maiden-tribute ones, very successfully and well played in key parts of the composition, then, some cool effects adorn and complete the image of a fairly psychedelic, in all, experience. Elsewhere, there may be an industrial, more conventional black metal feel, elsewhere, there may appear rhythms of jazz music, ambient and sublime moments, combined with elaborate mastery, disharmonious but at the same time upbeat and more catchy sounds, which spread pleasantly in the space and during the time of listening.

Hence one understands that there was not much to discuss beyond the procedural, the recording and the manner of composition, as the result was rather satisfactory. And in this respect, a highly enlightening discussion came up/stood out, about the use of a certain effect on the drums, already characteristic but also decisive for the sound of rock from the decade and, especially, during the 80s. Gated reverb, the name of this particular recording technique, and its role in sculpting the sound of drums and the entire musical education, primarily, production, then, is more or less known if one remembers Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’. Finally, I think this release would be wronged if we stood on a single track, although I singled out for reasons of personal consumption some of them, it is advisable to be heard in its entirety, ‘As the Flame Withers’, as it is intended, with excess passion and humility at the same time, by its creators.