Wednesday, July 23, 2008

YAKUZA: Way of the Dead

Released: 2002

Yakuza sounds rather like what you would get if you crossed Meshuggah, God Forbid and the Dillinger Escape Plan with a jazz band. If it’s hard to get your head around what that would sound like, their second album Way of the Dead doesn’t really make it any easier!

Unique and challenging are words that are bandied about a lot by bands and labels in an effort to get their acts to stand out, but in this case there’s really no better description, because Yakuza really is like no other band. With all that said, Yakuza may not appeal to the average listener. Way of the Dead has far too many twists and turns, subtle surprises, tempo changes and even style and mood changes that anyone who just wants to rock out will most likely flee in confusion. It is, in fact, quite difficult to listen to for the first (or even second) time with off-kilter melodies, strange drum patterns and bizarre saxophone intrusions, but the more art-minded prog and avant-garde audience will warm to Yakuza very quickly.

Capped off with an incredible (and perhaps a little pretentious) 43-minute ambient jazz jam, Way of the Dead is a truly challenging musical achievement.

  1. Vergasso
  2. Miami Device
  3. Yama
  4. Signal 42
  5. TMS
  6. Chicago Typewriter
  7. Obscurity
  8. 0100011110011

Rating: 82%

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