Some wonder whether new genres are possible anymore. I would say yes, and I would offer Yeti as proof. While the 1970s are widely regarded as the peak of progressive rock (and, please note, I would agree with this), it is modern prog bands that throw off all shackles of categorization. In fact, each modern band I really like seems to be unlike any other band. Whether that’s because they jump around from style to style (Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere) or simply because they’ve created something completely new (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), these bands truly embody the creative spirit, and that is what so endears them to me.
Yeti, a fearsome threesome from Texas, of course, is no exception to this rule. In fact, behind Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, I would say that they are the most exciting band around today, and their most recent accomplishment, 2004’s Volume, Obliteration, Transcendence is a big reason why. This is music that will take you to new worlds you never dreamed possible. From slow and brooding to pounding and brutal, this album covers the entire spectrum, and it does so with ease. This is a band that cannot be pigeonholed, and I’m sure the members of Yeti would scoff at those who try.
Yeti’s innovative musical concoction spreads its roots far and wide, drawing nutrients from everywhere and using them all to build a focused and unique sound. They pull aspects of space rock (effects), post-metal (guitar), avant-garde (arrangements), and particularly zeuhl (vocals, bass) to paint their musical landscape. I don’t know about you, but metal and zeuhl are two genres I would not expect to see together, but Yeti pulls it off admirably. It is those two styles that form the crux of this album, with screaming guitar lines mixing with wonderful bass and synth work to form something that, as I’ve noted, defies all categorization attempts. The drums drive from the backseat, relentlessly pushing the album forward as the nearly indecipherable vocals lend a dark atmosphere perfectly fitting the album.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and that was never truer than here. At a mere fifty-three minutes (“mere” by modern standards), that may seem incorrect, but so much power is stuffed into those minutes that two things happen. First, the album seems to fly by; one second you’re starting with the spacey intro of “Cusp of Something,” and the next second, you’re hitting the gigantic climax about nine minutes into “Black Pills.” Second, you cannot possibly imagine how so many good ideas could be condensed into such a short time; it feels like this album should be a double CD (or, at least, fill up the entire eighty minutes a CD allots). This album is a monster, truly living up to the band’s name.
Volume, Obliteration, Transcendence is not going to be for everyone, I must warn. If you don’t like your music loud and heavy, you probably won’t like this beast. If you don’t like slow music that takes time to get where it’s going, again, this album isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want a musical adventure you won’t soon forget, there is probably no better album than Yeti’s Volume, Obliteration, Transcendence to sate your appetite. This is not for the faint of heart, but for those brave souls willing to test their mettle against the monster residing in the mountain’s harsh atmosphere, I urge them to seek out the Yeti.
Purchase at your own risk. It’s a glorious one.