Yamantaka // Sonic Titan UZU

Yamantaka // Sonic TitanUZU
This is the marquee event we've been waiting for from Toronto/Montreal group Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. After establishing the complex foundations of the band on their 2011 debut, YS // ST, the audience was prepared for the opus ahead and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are finally giving it to them. There's no holding back, as they present an expansive work of art that shows the scope of experimentalism they're capable of. It's easy to get lost in the thundering sonic soundscapes of UZU, utilizing the same fusions of psych-rock, metal, Asian, Japanese and operatic reference points, and that is the point. The theme of being carried away into a realm of bewilderment and obscurity is instilled in the characters we are introduced to throughout the album, primarily Ruby Kato Atwood and Alaska B's interpretation of Chinese sea goddess Mazu. The ten tracks on UZU drift into one another like waves of the narrative ocean, storming from eerily sparse pianos into heavy, crashing riffs and even Iroquois-based chants. All of this still masterfully leaves breathing room for Atwood's majestically dramatic soprano vocals. UZU is an album that uproots us and transports us into the unknown, but it's an adventure that we would happily go on again and again. (Paper Bag)