Yhdarl – Loss (2018) REVIEW

Set into three distinct movements Yhdarl‘s eighth full-length is yet another release from prolific Belgian extreme metal musician Déhà, who has produced endless streams of post-rock, ambient, and drone experiments alongside his funeral doom output as Slow. The sheer number of compositions he’s conceived over the last decade is impressive and it seems he’s put a swig of every flavor into Yhdarl’s defining ‘great work’. The depressive black/post-metal of his Imber Luminous project creeps into ‘Loss’ with his shrieking vocal psychopathy and the lumbering atmospheric funeral doom of Slow also massages it’s oppression into the middle chapter of the album. Ambitious and representative as ‘Loss’ is, much of the album only feels engaging because of it’s extreme vocal spectacle combined with solid funeral doom moments and not it’s overall composition.

Anyone familiar with this project over the last ten years might be a bit confused by it’s newfound depressive black metal leanings, yet the funeral doom atmospherics were hinted at back on ‘A Prelude to a Great Loss’ in 2016. Because Yhdarl had existed as a harsh noise/drone/doom experiment that loosely pulled in extreme metal ‘Loss’ is surprisingly light on the grating, noisome Nortt and Moss-like moments that characterized this project as it developed. Don’t get me wrong, I like this change of style quite a bit but it feels a bit more standard fare than what Déhà usually bothers to release.

I don’t have a ton of dings for this record outside of it’s less exciting final third. The terribly digital sound of the programmed drums on “Ignite – Ashes” are unimaginative and grating on repeat listens. At times it seems like the vocal hysterics, which greatly highlight “Despise – Pity”, are outrageous for the sake of distracting the listener from the less inspired drum patterns he’s kicking around. The horror of it all would be better served with a more organic drum performance. Though this is an excellent fusion of depressive black metal and funeral doom moments and should be heralded for it’s contribution to the style. It is the best music to come from this project and one of the finer albums from Human Excrements, but I think it came with the baggage of expectation after Slow‘s fifth album and conceptually under-delivered by comparison.


Artist Yhdarl
Type Album
Released January 19, 2018
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Gasping as you wither. 3.25/5.0

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