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Godes Yrre : Ghost Warriors

Conceptually intriguing, but not quite backed up by a similar musical variety, Godes Yrre's sophomore makes some mechanized progress.

The case could certainly be made that Godes Yrre possesses one of the most strikingly Metal names out there. The name means Godís wrath, a daunting image created before even listening to the material contained within. Starting out in Cuba and later relocating to Switzerland (a major change indeed!), the project belongs to one Abel Oliva. First releasing a demo titled 'A Divine Image' in 1994, the project laid dormant at least in terms of recording output until 2017 when he reemerged with the full-length 'Inside the Whale'. Evidently subscribing to the philosophy of striking while the iron is hot, Godes Yrre has returned this year with 'Ghost Warriors'. While not strictly a Doom project, there are elements of the genre mixed with a heavy dose of Industrial Metal. Think more Godflesh than Ministry or KMFDM. Regardless of classification, there is a feeling of menacing confrontation and a cerebral quest for elusive truth.

Compared to the material that follows, 'Golden Sword' seems like a song that should have been relegated to the middle of the album rather kicking it off. While it certainly should not be considered boring or watered down, it has more of a medium-paced groove. The Industrial elements leap out at the listener with the boom and snap of the drum machine and the chainsaw-like guitar tone. The album really starts to hit its stride with the second track, 'Praying To The Bird Head God' which begins innocently with some hanging chords over which a long solo is played that favors a mysterious Asian-flavored sound. Afterward, though, the power of a simple riff played with marked staccato is employed. Like guitarists such as Tommy Victor of Prong, Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, and even Page Hamilton of Helmet, Abel Oliva constructs riffs that strike the listener with less notes and more an emphasis on rhythmic groove. Indeed, less is more with the guitar sounding like a raging beast over the programmed beats. Vocally, the comparison to Godflesh is undeniable. Like the great Justin Broadrick, the emphasis is rather on delivery than acutely on melody. It is the way the vocals are conveyed, like a hybrid of percussion and distortion, that paints a unique alternate shade upon the final product. 'Tenochtitlan Has Fallen', the fourth track, is another high mark of the album. It stands out from the songs that precede it in its breaking of the mold created. There is an exploration of melody and alternate arrangements that set it apart.

'Ghost Warriors' is an album that elicits a vibe of mystery and discovery. With titles such as the aforementioned second track, 'Praying To The Bird Head God' and the fifth track, 'Hunting With Shaka', there are themes of international discovery and mythology, a crusade of Promethean proportions, permeating through the course of the album. It could be said there is an air of anthropology running throughout. Curiosity is certainly piqued as there now is a nagging desire to read the lyrics. Unfortunately, though, the intrigue and excitement created by such a range of topics is not fulfilled largely through the music. That is not to say that it is disagreeable or distasteful, but with such lofty themes, one would expect a greater variety of music to match. After the middle point of the album, the sound simply becomes redundant as there is not much diversity in the riffs or pacing of the music.

The Doom element to the album is conveyed more through feeling than musical execution, though the guitar tone at times echoes sounds of Crowbarís Kirk Windstein. It feels as if there is an impending apocalypse when listening. Perhaps that is the quintessence of Doom itself. 'Ghost Warriors' is certainly not revolutionary in breaking any new ground, but fans of Godflesh specifically will be drawn to its mechanized formula. It is a testament to Abel Olivaís will and determination that he has been able to compose an album with no outside help, but one has to wonder if a second opinion would give the music the diversity needed to elevate it to a more memorable level.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Golden Sword
2. Praying To The Bird Head God
3. Red Skies
4. Tenochtitlan Has Fallen
5. Hunting With Shaka
6. The Warrior And The Ghost
7. Marching Over Jerusalem

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Godes Yrre bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-12-03 by Chris Hawkins
Rotten Copper
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