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Yidhra – Cult of Bathory (Premiere)

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It’s a given that Los Angeles produces a myriad of sounds and styles, even within heavy metal. It’s impossible to associate subgenres with the city when quality grind, sludge, crust and death metal can rage in full force on any given night. Yidhra is a rather oddball act among the bunch. The band takes the stoner doom sound that has been overdone all across the West Coast, and brainfucks it.

Ted Venemann’s gruff shouts and his “mad professor” appearance mask his punk roots. Live, he attacks the stage with the same vigor and motion that he gave in his hardcore days—when was the last time you saw a doom metal singer hang from the ceiling rails? But then the theremin appears, and so does the mad professor. Between-song breaks are replaced by spaceoid oscillations conducted by Venemann, allowing just enough of a respite from Dave Krocker’s swinging power chords.

Check out an exclusive stream of the title track to Cult of Bathory below. Krocker’s riffs aren’t immediately catchy; they’re endlessly unnerving, always keeping you on your toes without allowing your heels to ever touch the ground. That’s Yidhra’s strength: convention and resolution are thrown out the door in favor of trapping you in their sonic discomfort; it makes for addictive listening, like stoner doom Stockholm syndrome.

—Avinash Mittur

Cult of Bathory will be available on vinyl on December 11th via Black Voodoo Records and on December 4, the band will play a record-release show at the Complex in Glendale, California. Follow them on Facebook and pick up merch on Bandcamp.

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