Yellow Eyes – Rare Field Ceiling

Ah, yes, Yellow Eye’s Rare Field Ceiling (Gilead Media), the kind of metal album that asks its listeners if they’ve ever wondered what it would be like to clean out their ears with steel wool. It’s the type of gritty and unhinged music that one plays when you really want to let your neighbors and relatives know that you are indeed collaborating with the dark ones. What would it feel like to have a rabid wolverine give you a back massage? Probably a bit like Rare Field Ceiling.

From what I’ve gathered the secret sauce that informs the unhinged sounds of Rare Field Ceiling come from field recordings procured in Siberia by guitarist Will Skarstad shortly before entering the studio. You can catch bits and traces of these findings during the concluding moments of ‘Warmth Trance Reversal’ in the form of surreal chants and chime-like instrumentation. Ironically, the most unsettling song of the bunch is the one that leans the least on Black Metal and relies on disembodied vocals, in the album-closing ‘Maritime Flare.’ After a couple of minutes of ghostly singing and odd background noises, you find yourself wondering if you should even be listening to the recording at all. Next thing you know you’re making sure your closet door is locked and consistently looking over your shoulder.

But enough with ghosts and goblins, you want to know how extreme and pulse-pounding the album really is. Well if that’s the case please jump in headfirst into the fray of blast beats generated by Mike Rekevics and the sea of pained moans emanating from Sam Skarstad on ‘Nutrient Painting.’ And for my black metal fans out there, you’ll really get a kick out of how grainy and lo-fi every instrument and word is on Rare Field Ceiling. Skarstad sounds like he’s howling his vocals from across the room while the kickdrums thunder like they’re pounding damp cardboard for most of the running time.

Be afraid of Rare Field Ceiling. Be very afraid.

8 / 10

HANS LOPEZ