Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie (Gilead Media)

Monday, 18th December 2017
Rating: 8/10

Slowly but surely, Brooklyn’s Yellow Eyes have been building a name for themselves within the extreme metal community for their melancholic take on black metal without watering down the atmospheric formula. Immersion Trench Reverie marks the fourth full-length, in which a recent trip to Siberia yields some additional benefits for the band.

Compared to previous efforts, Yellow Eyes’ atmospheric profile has been expanded, but don’t go into it expecting a traditional ‘atmospheric black metal’ release. In fact, that’s far from what the band has to offer. Instead, Yellow Eyes focuses on keeping the riffs flowing in interesting tremolo patterns, ones that would never be accused of being too melodic, but still carry distinguishing features in their sometimes angular approach. “Old Alpine Pang” delivers some decidedly cold atmosphere while still bringing in some Krallice-like density to the material. But the band isn’t above hitting with some more direct melodies on occasion, and therein lies their strength. Dissonant melodies permeate “Shrillness in the Heated Grass,” giving it a haunting and ethereal feel, which is only strengthened by some bells and singing towards its finale. The title track also shines here, with chilling atmospheres fostered by the distant riffing, even when it is accompanied by chaotic screams and spiraling blast beats.

What makes Yellow Eyes tick is their ability to take from the same black metal pool that many pull from, yet make it into an experience that’s still cold and abrasive, yet has a sullen and melancholic core. Immersion Trench Reverie is a fascinating listen that achieves a harsh vibe will still conveying a dark beauty beneath the surface. It’s a strong combination – one that’s tough to beat and hard to truly replicate. Hence the deserved buzz that continues to surround and expand around Yellow Eyes.

Yellow Eyes on Bandcamp