YETI – Ritual (Independent Release)
Formed in Finland six or so years ago in 2009, Yeti take things at a down-tuned, slow-paced kind of way. If you want to pigeon-hole them then stoner rock is tag the lazy would hang around their necks, but with one EP and two albums already to their name there’s a lot more to Kaisa Kari (vocals), Antti Miettunen (guitars), Mikko Rintala (bass) and Joonas Jäntti (drums) than just one semi-productive description.
Yeti’s latest album ‘Ritual’ (well, at 31 minutes it’s as long as the early works by Kiss and Van Halen) is a pretty good facsimile – or maybe celebration is the right word – of early Seventies heavy rock, when bands could play what they wanted without being locked in silos. First impressions of opener ‘Fools Hope’ are that it could easily have come off the first Sabbath album, and the musical freedom of the Seventies is the kind of vibe the young Finns maintain across the six tracks on offer. Everything is subservient to The Riff, be it heavy and aggressive as with ‘Forsaken’, or mellow and folky, the path the band take with the acoustic and keyboard-laden ‘She’. ‘Inferno’ is a swift little beast which picks up the pace (check out the way Kari’s phrasing locks perfectly into the verse riff), as is ‘Solomon’, a song which offers Rintala’s bass the autonomy to come to the fore and which with its looser riff and nod to ‘Supernaut’ is pretty much worth the price of the CD alone. Album closer and title track ‘Ritual’ takes things pretty much full circle; a bruising behemoth of a song, some nine-and-a-half minutes long, ‘Ritual’ serves up the Sabbathisms of the crushing riff and the looping bass run, with Jäntti pounding his kit like a man possessed and Kari’s enigmatic vocals towering over proceedings. Every band should have a song like this in their arsenal.
This is one hell of a stunning debut. Atop the well-crafted songs, the guitar work is beautifully executed throughout (check out Miettunen’s work in ‘Inferno’ and ‘Solomon’ in particular) and whilst keeping things under control at the back Jäntti (like Bill Ward, back in the day) still gets to have his fun, with more fill-ins than the average dentist. For more information go to http://yetifinland.bandcamp.com/releases
John Tucker © November 2015