Written by Rob Botten
The Return Home
The World, As It Was Sung to BE
The Ending Arcane
Mortal Vessel Drained
Lights in the Murk
Hannes Grossmann – Drums
Clemens Wijers – Keyboards & orchestration
Adrienne Cowan – Vocals
Pietro Baldan – Guitars & bass
Release Date: September 1, 2018
Label: They Live We Sleep Recordings
Lights In The Murk starts off with chilling symphonic tones only to jump right into fast-paced drumming and guitar accompanied with some impressive vocals by Adrienne Cowan. Yass-Waddah have taken a majority of their influences from writer William S. Burroughs to create an end-of-the-world vibe. With the first track "The Return Home", I could hear many influences from a number of other bands. My thoughts were if Dimmu Borgir, Marduk, Dark Funeral, and Satyricon were to be intermingled together, this would be one of the outcomes. That is a good thing. Yass-Waddah brings their own elements into the mix, but thoroughly touch on everything that makes black metal the genre that it is. Many of the songs on Lights In The Murk sound like a spin-off of Dimmu Borgir from albums like Death Cult Armageddon and Stormblast 2005, albeit with less symphonic elements and focus. The track "The Ending Arcane" even has synthesized talking blended in adding to that end-of-the-world vibe the whole album has.
From beginning to end, this album is tight and very well produced. Lights In The Murk, from start to finish has that modern refined black metal sound without the distortion being turned up all the way. There are many elements in every track that really pull it all together. The drumming is mixed well with variations from traditions black metal style with sections slowed down to emphasize many symphonic elements. I would say the drumming is really the strongest part of Lights In The Murk. Adrienne’s vocals are very impressive, however I felt there wasn’t really much variation to them. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, some changes in the way she uses her voice would only tighten up this record. At times her voice sounds similar to that of Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy. There are parts where the guitar or bass sound amazing and almost give that hair-raising vibe we all have come to know in metal music. My one and only qualm is that there is little variation between songs. Each one does have some of it’s own elements, but for the majority of the time, it all sounds the same. I’ve listened to the album from first track to last a number of times now, and I still find myself not realizing another song has started.
Overall, I have to say I quite like Lights In The Murk. It’s a pretty strong album and Yass-Waddah clearly have some incredible talent and are showing lots of promise. The strongest track I would say is "The Ending Arcane" – I get the same vibes that I do when I listen to older Dimmu Borgir or more recent Darkthrone. However, this album is not one to listen to from start to finish, but in bits here or there. I am going to keep on eye on these talented musicians in the future. With the strength this first full-length album has, I have high hopes for what they have to show us next.
Highs: Very strong drumming with an awesome end-of-the-world vibe.
Lows: Not enough variation between songs to make one more memorable than the other.
Final Rating: 7/10