'Occult Medicine'

(Osmose Productions)

MARK: 85/100



Well, well, if there is a truly underground band, Yyrkoon is one of the brightest patterns within the limits of France; this is the 3rd album on Osmose and in comparison with the past, the band has reduced the melodic elements, earning a more effective songwriting by the entry of new members.

After "Intro", we find "Doctor X", a massive example of violent Death metal a là Dying Fetus with ferocious vocals; great is the guitar solo, while the slow break is influenced by the US Death metal school; an acceleration before the fading of the song with one crushing guitar later soloing and the other guitar melodic but distorted, while the kick-drums keep on going fast 'til the end.
"Censored Project" starts in a mid-tempo shape, the it grows to become close to the latest Testament and Ebony Tears; the drums are quite fast during the sudden Black metal blast, while the following riffs cause headbanging; some parts remind of the Haunted but soon you meet ultra heavy stopped riffs and another super solo; the rocky drums are as heavy as hell both when the parts are Thrash/Death with vocals very similar to Chuck Billy, and when it's time for the final black blast.
Another track with the same characteristics is "Blasphemy", gifted with 2 piercing solos; the middle mid-paced riff is ABSOLUTELY the coolest and most destructive of the whole CD, but Yyrkoon prove to be clever when dealing with fast heavy structures and they don't become untight when the rhythms aren't too fast.
The title-track starts with another suggestive intro: a rhythmical beep, some orchestral sounds, others suitable for a soundtrack, a few noises maybe coming from a spacecraft and an angelic choir. The remaining 5 minutes and a half display a slow downtuned riff, followed by another, insisting and colossal; I can assure you the other utilized riffs are even better and the axe solo one more time memorable; it's harmful Death/Thrash with occasional diabolical vocals besides the Testament-like ones; another splendid Malmsteenian solo on a granitical carpet of bassdrums makes me understand that the French aren't afraid of slowing as they have the opportunity of rendering their songs unique and more interesting.
Get moving and look for shelter before the ghosts' assault since "Revenant Horde" appears the best applicant for the title of most brutal song and it's a shame Laurent Harrouart left the band after the recording; his style can hardly be matched by most drummers around; however, we have his work here as an inheritance of his complexity and elegance; he can be gigantically weighty and a couple of seconds later play a luxurious break divinely tuned up with the guitar plot; a part of the merit also goes to the first-class kick-drums sounds every extreme metal drummer would envy, granted by the Hansen studios (Ancient, Invocator, Aborted, Illdisposed, and so on).
I challenge you to prove me if "Reversed World" doesn't explain how to take the best from old Thrash, Swedish Death (Crown, Soilwork), adding a few prog vocal interventions; 2 brilliant crescendo guitar solos are then followed by a stop and go, bringing the track back to the initial theme; a song destined to delight lots of 30 year-olds for a long while.
"Trapped into Life" is the nth composition rooted in the most adrenalinic Thrash metal with Chuch Billy's vocals and some other not angry ones backing up between the 2 unfailing guitar solos; as though it wasn't enough, Yyrkoon decide to place a third one at the end of the song, to be sure they haven't written a banal song.
"Surgical Distortion" mixes Testament, Dimmu Borgir and Meshuggah, with the solo guitarist giving a confirmation of his capacities and the drums rife with odd times typical of prog metal bands; the four knights of the Apocalypse descend back a tenth time with "Schyzophrenic Carnage", pounding from the very beginning and proving for the rest of the song to be a real war machine, capable of a surgical precision with the fine work of the guitars crafting several solos and a mountain of lively riffs.
In "Erase the Past" Yyrkoon even teach to write a Death/Black metal song with Death metal vocals; yes, this time the riffs are not all low and the most significant are middle; sometimes they remind me of Malevolent Creation, sometimes any modern Brutal Death metal band. The end is constituted by a slow riff repeated, whereas the mixing filters the decreasing lows and contemporarily increases the highs. Not the first time I've heard it but it keeps on giving a good impression.

The only faults I've found out reside in the excessive addiction to the Chuck Billy vocals, even if they are perfectly apt for songs like these and originality is not a priority for the band and me either; perhaps the last 3 songs aren't as exceptional as the first 2, but the drop is so light that many won't even notice it. After all, Yyrkoon's current songs have improved that much that it's hard to believe it's the same band if you listen to their first CD without knowing it belongs to them.
If they solve the line-up problems, they can leave the cult status, tour more and come back with a fourth album with a perfect production; then the entire metal scene will remember their strange name...


E-mail: promo@osmoseproductions.com
E-mail: sadast@wanadoo.fr