“Death Ritual”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you’re looking for a ton of already used sludge-doom riffs, your search is over. “Death Ritual” is chock full of sounds and ideas liberally looted from Sleep, High On Fire, Weedeater, etc.  Certain bands can get away with unoriginal music if they put an extra level of energy and effort  into it. Yatra really don’t make it to that level.

“Hour of the Dragon” opens with some cool Indian drone before easing  into a gooey, basic riff that I’ve heard many times before. The vocals here are really rough…not quite death metal,but full of gargled razor blades, whisky and phlegm. That gives the band a bit of a heavier edge. The band drones on with more baked sludge and the usual retro-flavor lead guitar jams. Yatra can be enjoyable if you have absolutely no demands from the music. On certain tracks like “Smoke Is Rising” and “Four Directions”, the band does manage to transcend and point the way to a path they should follow. But final cut “Sail On” reverts to the most boilerplate of sludgy stoner rock.

I’ve been listening to this kind of stuff long enough to tell the wheat from the chaff. If you’re really into heavy sludge, get the new Windhand and High On Fire releases. “Death Ritual” is just not as essential.