I still can’t believe I actually missed out on Yayla‘s Sathimasal last year. Looking back on the record it displayed Yayla mastermind Emir’s ability to create cold, atmospheric black metal that manages to captivate listeners despite being almost an hour long and containing only 5 songs. The band starts off early this year with Nihaihayat, their fourth full length release in as many years.
Unlike Sathimasal that started off with the aural onslaught from the start, Yayla takes a slightly different approach this time, kicking off the album with the instrumental Integumental Grasp, a soothing, keyboard driven ambient track that places the listener in the midst of the mountains, complete with sounds of wind chimes and bells. Yet this is just a false sense of calm that Yayla is instilling in the listener as all hell breaks loose with Through the Sigil of Hate, replacing that soothing mood with one of chaos, at first almost sounding like barbaric bestial war metal bands like Archgoat, with the raw, abrasive guitar tone and the sinister, destructive atmosphere. And although the similarities last for just a short moment at the beginning of the album, it does not mark the reduction of the harshness of the music that Yayla has put in place.
Compared to the material on Sathismasal, the music on Nihaihayat is much more aggressive and energetic, first with the high mix of the drums on the album. The programmed drums of Emir are chaotic and often lack a constant rhythm, especially with the bass drums and the snares, and whether this was done intentionally or not, it is hard to deny the overall impact that this has on causing a deep sense of unease on the listener. The riffs, while still maintaining that bleak outlook of Sathismasal, has a more abrasive edge this time as well. Erim’s vocals also take the role that the various instruments have taken, and even without the availability of the lyrics, his vocal execution easily sends shivers down the listener’s spine, alternating between inhuman shrieks and deep clean vocals, sounding like chants from the nether world.
The long tracks on the album ensure that the listener has all the time that he wants to soak in the atmosphere that Erim has laid down on Nihaihayat, with the smooth intertwining between the harsh black metal and the ambient of songs like In Senility. Certainly a nice record to accompany cold, lonely nights.