Music Review: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Yamantaka :: Sonic Titan Alaska B Ruby Kato Atwood

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Psychic Handshake Recordings
October 2011

It’s not often Chinese opera and death metal mingle in the same sentence, but damn, if it doesn’t feel good. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, a Montreal-based duo of drummer Alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood, have ballooned into an eight-piece orchestra to create the supercharged prog-rock opera, YT//ST. Harnessing both Eastern and Western traditions, and the boundless arena of no wave, the band toys with duality of culture and sound while creating massively elaborate sets, both in performance and in sound. A song may be brought to life with an organ (a la Stereolab meets Blonde Redhead), but is later tethered by a weighty prog backdrop. There is subtle switching of sets like a rotating theater, unmasking, then re-veiling sound as YT//ST veers in and out squealing guitars, lost voices, grinding cacophony and pummeling drums.  Each track stands on its own, but definitely attack the whole album at once if you have the chance.

Listen to this: during battle, and after as you rest on your cosmic laurels.

— Anika Sabin

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