Grind and technical metal are difficult types of music to pull off well as they are the kind of music that have rich histories of excellent examples of bands who do them well, and seeing as there are several very important touchstones which grind bands (particularly) seemingly must adhere to in order to fly the grind and technical metal banner (blast beats, the need for speed, odd time signature, spastic time signature changes), there is the possibility that bands playing these types of music can descend into self parody and even bland repetition. Some bands bring other influences to the table to intermingle with their love of grind to infuse their music with other forms and styles in order to expand their palette of sound with which to create their own music. Hailing from Switzerland, Yog is just such a band. And their album, Years of Nowhere is a record that is proof positive that such mixing of styles can be done well and can bring a freshness to a style that has a penchant for sounding stale if done wrong.
Years Of Nowhere kicks the album off with a bang that is heavily indebted to early Dillinger Escape Plan (a good thing as that is my favorite era of that band). Yog does not sound like a clone, but uses the influences well. Yog also shows that the blast beat is alive and well in Secrets, which is a blistering two plus minutes of sound that also is reminiscent of Converge at times (actually these Converge moments happen fairly often as in The Frameless Stage). Even though Yog wears their influences on their collective sleeves, the songs are different in that they are short and to the point shocks of their unique fusion of sound.
Strange as it may seem, this is a re-release of Yogs Years of Nowhere (I guess the original label could not handle the demand for the record or something along those lines). And it is equally strange that I completely missed the boat on these guys, but at least now this reissue is sitting in my stereo. In any case, Yog mixes all of their influences into an amalgam of a sonic maelstrom that sounds like the band is mostly speaking with its own voice. Years of Nowhere is a very strong record, and if the band progresses and expands their musical palette in some of the ways that their various influences have, than we might have a powerful new band to give our attention.
7.5 / 10
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