You might remember a Kvlt Albvm from a little while by the name of Graveforests And Their Shadows by the impeccable Walknut. If you don’t, here’s a handy link to said post – click this – and revel in all it’s glory. So now you might be wondering why I mention it here. Well, as much as I crave (and I’m sure many others do too) a new Walknut record – Ygg are here to sate that appetite.
1. …Знаю, висел я в ветвях на ветру… (Intro)
3. Урд, Верданди, Скульд
4. Гимн природы
7. …Стеная, их поднял и с дерева рухнул… (Outro)
So who are Ygg? They hail from Kharkiv in the Ukraine and feature past members of Nokturnal Mortum. Cool. This self titled effort is their first full length, and damn, it’s good. Dealing in good old fashioned lyrical themes such as paganism and ritualism they immediately set the tone of the record on the introductory track with the sounds of swirling winds and rustling leaves. A superbly placed synth line builds behind these sounds of nature and an instrument that could possibly be a Jew’s Harp is used to great effect, building the truly atmospheric tone of the piece. This segues into first track proper, YGG, quite perfectly. And then the blastbeats. So many blastbeats. The vocals are beautifully harsh, sharing space in this track with gorgeous touches and flourishes of synthy keys behind certain lines.
Ygg utilise two vocalists, one handling the more intensely screamed sections and another taking on the deeper growls heard throughout the record. I’d try and tell you exactly what’s being talked about, but I don’t speak Russian. Sorry. Suffice to say, it sounds like it’s probably pretty darn impassioned. It’s something that bands from this particular area do well. They’ve lived through some amazingly hard times and have such a history that there’s no end to lyrical content, drawing on their countries myths, legends and true happenings.
Гимн природы is certainly a stand out – if only for that funky as hell drum line around the six minute mark. The keys make an appearance, adding to the tone in all the right places. Soaring, almost choral melodies are sublimely mixed and there’s a suitable crunchy bass line sitting in there. Deep in both sound and where it lies, almost completely hidden by the pounding beats issued forth by the drum kit and the relentless guitar attack. Again the harp is used to excellent effect, really driving the point that this is a record borne of it’s origins in the truest sense.
A little bit of a pace changer initially, Кровь has a driving repetitive beat. It’s a tad slower than other tracks here, but don’t let that worry you. It’s infectiously catchy and will induce more head nodding than you’ll know what to do with (pro-tip – just go with it). This beat more or less stays throughout, changing slightly to incorporate the fierce vocals or a shimmer of key here and there. UGH indeed.
Closing the album is outro track Стеная, их поднял и с дерева рухнул… , starting with the sound of breathing and waves crashing against a shore. The lapping of the sea is hypnotic, pulling you into the soundscapes created by these naturally occurring moments, offset by gently distorted guitar and a barely there glimmer of synth on occasion. A screeching crow is heard, and a simple drum beat underpins this section. The slow breathing still continuing to be heard, almost a ritual in itself. Disarming and yet wholly appropriate for the world of Ygg.
The title track for your consumption: