Yliaster is the name of a project formed by musician/vocalist Marcel Polit in partnership with drummer Dariusz ‘Daray’ Brzozowski (Vesania, Dimmu Borgir, ex-Vader). Later this month, Yliaster will release their debut album, Soliloquy. Previously we premiered the album’s title track, and now we bring you a stream of the entire record.
I was hooked by Yliaster‘s music as soon as I heard the album’s first single, the opening track “Nox”, and the rest of the songs have proven to be just as good. I’ve resisted the urge to nail a genre label onto this edifice, because it doesn’t fit cleanly into any one box. It’s probably enough to say that it’s heavy as hell. But of course I’ll say a few more things….
Part of the album’s heaviness derives from the atmosphere of darkness that pervades the music. The melodies are mostly bleak and bereft, to the point of becoming ominous and unsettling. In the generally slower songs, such as “Occultation” and album closer “Ex.pr.ess”, the aura is almost dirge-like and funereal. Yet there is an overarching sense of doom and deprivation even when the band drive themselves into orgies of sonic violence.
The music is heavy enough to collapse bridges for other reasons as well. Polit often wields his guitar and bass like demolition tools, alternating between jack-hammering, pile-driving riffs, groaning, sludgy chords, and bursts of tremolo picking that whirr like an industrial-strength drill. To provide contrast, he often layers the guitar parts, adding dissonance and at times chiming notes that ring out like hell’s bells.
And of course, Daray‘s drumming is a further key ingredient in the album’s nearly overpowering impact — which is enhanced by an approach to production that makes you feel like you’re a close-up observer at an artillery range. Whether he’s spitting shells in a fury, pounding away with concrete-splitting force, or somersaulting in head-spinning progressions, the mix puts it all right inside your head — and threatens to fracture it into a pile of tiny pieces.
Polit uses his high howls and acidic shrieks judiciously and sparingly, letting the instrumental music carry most of the weight. But they do put a sharp edge on the music, like a knife under the throat that ratchets the tension.
Yliaster‘s plan is to release Soliloquy on both CD and digitally via Bandcamp, and that should happen by the end of March. I’ll update this post with links for ordering or downloading the music when they become available. For now, follow Yliaster on Facebook here:
UPDATE: Soliloquy is now available on Bandcamp: