Yellow Eyes | Sick with Bloom (Gilead Media)

At moments, the builds are so crushing, it’s impeccable.


As a band, Yellow Eyes have come more than a long way in the past few years. With a hefty number of EPs and now two full-length releases, you could expect them to be a great act…except they’re way more than just a “great act” now, what with this most recent release. As they’ve come to understand their strengths, they have created what can now be heard as a fully developed sound.

Sick with Bloom manages to not just surprise and dazzle, but to create such an intense emotional journey through some well-made set pieces and incredible ambiance, as well. In completely recording on tape and performing in a remote cabin, Yellow Eyes perfectly captures a soft and muddied tone through the echo and soft surroundings.

Certain moments of the album break into down-paced interludes that really sell the world they’ve created: sounds of walking on hardwood floors, silvery chimes ringing in the wind, and nature either quietly whispering or viciously booming. The sensation of it all makes me feel like I’m sitting comfortably on the porch of their cabin, enjoying the performance as crickets chirp, while at times, it rains around me. As for the actual playing by the band members, they use heaviness within the guitars to create a full wall that constantly assaults the listener in nonstop motion.

Melodically, this is one sound as hell album. The drums manage to bring such dreariness and really hearken back to some classic black metal percussion styles, while also keeping it fresh. At moments, the builds are so crushing, it’s impeccable.

With a lot of black metal releases, you tend to get an ugly sense of repetition, usually accompanied by some not-so-outstanding vocals. The screeches on these tracks are truly bone chilling, almost reminiscent of Hoest from Taake. Sick with Bloom is an extremely well–put-together black metal record, and I’m surprised it didn’t get much recognition upon release. From the amount of heart Yellow Eyes has put into the creation of this record, it’s evident that only great things will come from this immensely impressive group. A+ | Marcus Mercer

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