Thursday, 31 October 2019

Year Of The Cobra - Ash And Dust (Album Review)

Release date: November 01st 2019. Label: Prophecy Productions. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Ash And Dust – Tracklisting

1.The Battle Of White Mountain
2.The Divine
3.Ash And Dust
5.Into The Fray
6.At The Edge
7.Dark Swan
8.In Despair


Amy Tung Barrysmith (vocals/ bass)
Jon Barrysmith (drums)


Year Of The Cobra return with their new album Ash And Dust. This sees the band further explore their Doom Rock sound with the band adding a heavier mix of Sludge and Stoner Rock into the mix. The album is way atmospheric that I expected it to be and has a cool sounding hazy psychedelic atmosphere going on.

Opening song – The Battle Of White Mountain – is the longest song on the album running past the seven-minute mark and it’s a great song to open the album with. As it shows YOTC are in a more reflective and heavier mood compared to previous releases. The music starts off rather slowly with Amy’s pounding bass guitar and immense vocals laying down the groundwork for the gloomy atmosphere to appear and fully take over. The song immediately become heavier when Jon adapts a more aggressive style of drumming. The song effortlessly moves from a wide range of different sounds but still holding the listener’s full attention from start to finish.

Second song – The Divine – is a more Doom Rock/Metal song with flashes of Psychedelic Rock being added. Amy’s vocals are excellent as always with a slight gothic/occult doom twinge. The music does all of the talking for the band with heavy sounding grooves being less direct than the opening song. Though the grunge based Doom/Stoner riffs are never too far behind.

Third song – Ash And Dust – is a more Punk driven song with the band still retaining their Doom Metal identity. This song has a more experimental Punk Rock feel and it’s quite a frantic style of music to hear from the band. It’s quite catchy in places especially with the vocals and lyrics taking a more sinister and threatening turn compared to other songs on the album.

Fourth song – Demons – sees Amy in fine sultry form with her devilish laid-back vocals being the main focus of this song. The song is mainly a slowly played almost Occult Doom Rock song with the band taking their time bringing their heavy sounds to the party. Jon’s drumming may seem less visible on this song but you can feel Jon’s drumming driving the main narrative of this song with the creepy psychedelic sounds adding a more claustrophobic edge to the overall feel of the album.

The second half of the album continues with the gloomy and heavy sounds with the songs Into The Fray and Dark Swan being possibly the best two songs held on the whole album. As YOTC write some of the best lyrics and music on the album. The second half possibly isn’t as heavy as the first half but this doesn’t stop the band showing how they’ve grown and improved as musicians since their acclaimed debut release.

Ash And Dust is without doubt YOTC’s best album so far. It’s quite a progressive and forward thinking album compared to their previous releases and will no doubt allow YOTC to enhance their reputation further within the Hard Rock/Metal community

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Austin at Secret Service Publicity for the promo. Ash And Dust Arise is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via ProphecyProductions.