Ayahuasca "Yin" Album Review
Toronto’s best kept secret in heavy music returns with their long-awaited sophomore album “Yin”. Ayahuasca have created a concept record that takes the listener through a dark and heavier record of self-loathing. Luke Roberts, the mastermind behind the project, employs a variety of influences stretching from Jazz, Alternative Rock, Metal, and even Pop music. The album invites the listeners on psychedelic, interpersonal exploration of the self.
"Yin" is all about big choruses and melody. Luke Roberts clearly has a love of arena rock music, and uses his vocal range to counter-balance the heavy riffs. This balance is apparent throughout the entire album, but particularly in tracks “Yin”, “Dark Matter God”, and “Mange”. In a genre where vocals are a monotone afterthought, it is great to see them fully utilized in this release.
The next thing that is very apparent is the riffs. Riffs come in all forms on the album; from straight up bludgeoning and bleak with “The Dodged Now”, and “Yin”, the technical brain-melting with “Mountain of Snakes”, and catchy hooks in “Mange”. Guitar solos are plentiful on the record, but are never overbearing. Particularly with tracks like “Mange”, you have solos that are soulful and to the point, without seeming ever being overbearing. Guitars on this album do what other Metal albums should aspire to do; provide accents throughout the music, and to not over shadow what else is going on. This delicate balance compliments the rest of the sound, a rare feat with Metal records.
The record acts exactly like an Ayahuasca trip itself; getting more bizarre and introspective as the album marches on. Perhaps the best form of this experimentation comes with the last track “White Ship”. The song gives the albums ultimate release; blending all of the best elements of Ayahuasca’s sound, and giving the listener closure to the whole experience. When the album is finished, the listener is given a sense that they have been witnessed to a journey, very rare in albums today. "Yin" stands as an album which challenges the constructs of heavy music; and challenges those to experiment and reshape their craft. "Yin" is the fresh-air so desperately lacking in today’s heavy music.