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Yrr – Sokeiden Valtakunta [EP]

yrr – sokeiden valtakunta [ep]


After a decent first demo in early 2022, the Finnish band Yrr continued to work on their first EP. Initially started by sole band member YRR, the band expanded to a two-piece with the addition of drummer Thorgaunt, whose experience playing in bands like Akolyytti, Mørketida, Ancestors Blood and Kadotus adds a whole different level to the band after that role was taken by the programmed drums on the first demo. Together, the band started honing the sound of Yrr, resulting in the six tracks and nearly 25 minutes of Black Metal that can be found on their ‘Sokeiden Valtakunta’ EP released in the dying days of 2022.

On the debut demo ‘Vanhat Haavat Ovat Auenneet’ sounded very distinctly Norwegian, taking a fairly minimal approach to the sound of for instance Darkthrone and Satyricon. While that sound certainly isn’t gone on ‘Sokeiden Valtakunta’, the band has taken tremendous steps in expanding their craft. For certain, the much more dynamic drum work of Thorgaunt plays a large factor, but the songs themselves are also much more diverse and much less standard. Furthermore, the overall sound is rawer on the EP than on the demo. The thick bass sound has remained but especially the guitar sound is much shriller, and the drum sound is a lot more organic. New to the EP is the subtle addition of keyboards, that give a song like ‘Sokeiden Valtakunta’ or the excellent closer ‘Heille Jotka Näkevät’ a much more sinister character. The same goes for the vocals of YRR, already a strong point on the previous demo but he certainly stepped it up on this EP. The opening track ‘Sokeiden Valtakunta’ alone is leaps and bounds better and darker than the material on the demo, and the same applies for pretty much all the songs featured on the EP. The dominant leading riffs in ‘Varjon Temppeli’ and ‘Kaikki Mikä Katoaa’ add a more distinct, almost Horna-esque touch to Yrr’s music, which contrasts nicely with the eerie keyboards. Regardless of how the balance tilts per song, it’s all done incredibly well, keeping the raw essence of both the Norwegian and Finnish scenes yet adding that flavour of sinister atmosphere that lifts the EP well above many lesser bands. Plus, that artwork is pretty amazing!

It’s the combination of old school Norwegian riffs and that typical sound of the keyboards of that scene, with the at times more typical Finnish Black Metal, all draped in a rawer, more brooding mix that makes ‘Sokeiden Valtakunta’ a triumphant step up from the rather straightforward demo. Releases on CD, cassette and vinyl are all happening in 2023, and based on the huge progress made, that seems absolutely justified. A great EP, and hopefully a sign of great things to come for Yrr!


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