Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Dirt

dirtWarning: This music only makes sense when it’s loud as fuck. If you have anything close to resembling a headache, just don’t. Seriously, just don’t. The balance between not overdosing and curing the headache is too difficult.

Imagine walking through a bizarre and crammed marketplace in Tokyo. You see a dilapidated and failing video store. In front of it is a bin filled with ’80s anime movies. You pick up a film called “Dirt”. It’s the third movie of a trilogy that starts with “YT//ST” and then “UZU”. The movie is about a mythical world of Pureland. It takes place ten thousand years after the first movie, UZU, and it’s floods and a billion years before the first film, YT//ST. The story itself is about uncovering a ship called A’nó: wara, which is the last piece of uncorrupted soil. Now, why the fuck would I tell you this story? Cause that’s the fucking story the band put in there. Mind your hats walking into this one cause it’s a mind-fucker and you don’t want to stain the inside of that hat with a bunch of fuck juice.

This is a seriously strange and hypnotic record. I can’t stop playing it. There are worlds upon worlds inside these sounds. After a minute and a half into “Someplace” (Song 2), you’ll think you got the idea. But then a double kick starts thumping out a rage. You’ll be both baffled and entertained. And when that Judas Priest guitaring steps in for a solo you’ll be thoroughly confused and entertained. 

I don’t know many albums that have kept me constantly on my toes. It’s stadium rock indie heavy metal classical Asian fusion? Some call it “noise pop”. But, really, what the fuck does that mean? Some have called it prog rock, and sweet Mary muffins on a bloody toadstool, this is not prog rock. According to their Wikipedia page their style mixes Asian C-pop, J-pop, heavy metal, industrial music, Buddhist philosophy, anime, manga, Chinese and drag opera, kabuki, and Noh theatre. To me, this says absolutely nothing except that if you want to know what this shit is you’ll just have to listen.

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan hail from Canada, of all fucking places. Honestly? What the fuck is it with Canada recently and their bizarre fucking music? What an outlandish and polite bunch of puck throwers. Yamantaka//Sonic released a fantastic album in 2013 called UZU. In five years they dropped a few members and turned their shit up to a thousand. This is a loud record. By the end you feel like you sat through an entire Asian space opera played by heavy metal drumming and guitars. It’s a wonderful and exotic experience. It’s like being instantly transported to a bizarre festival in Tokyo, seeing the giant lights and signs and scenes and then, from out of the shadows, you see a dilapidated and failing video store. 


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