Rating:
9.0
Yurei - Night Vision
29 October 2012


01. Insomniac Bug Hunt
02. Reborn In Reveries
03. 3am Revolt
04. The Cognitive Crack
05. Diminished Disciple
06. Sleepwalkers In Love
07. Dali By Night
08. Ditt Monument
09. Machinery
10. Cranial Echoes


There's really something to be said of the creative direction that a one man band grants its member. Clear, concise, and focused direction, with the ultimate power to take said direction virtually anywhere they want. But the power comes with an inevitable requirement: you must be worthy of it. For with great power comes great responsibility, and one cannot (at least theoretically) have a one man band, covering all musical bases as well as the vocals without having a seriously accomplished and unique musical identity. Yurei is the bizarre result of Norwegian mastermind Bjorge "Bjeima" Martinsen's creative vision, and his latest offering, 2012's Night Vision, is one of those albums that reminds its listeners, perhaps rather harshly, to never doubt the potential of the individual mind.

One man prog metal. It sounds almost absurd, that a person would take it upon themselves to single-handedly craft a band out of so complex and intricate a style, but it's a goal that seems to be of no difficult task for Bjeima, and his distinct stylistic techniques make short work of many other prog metal powerhouses around these days. Night Vision has so many layers to it that it's quite difficult to analyze it as a whole, but one of the first things the listener will notice, which really gives the music its flavor, are the rhythms. Right off the bat, with the opener, "Insomniac Bug Hunt," Bjeima establishes bass-heavy, syncopated riffs on the album, quite reminiscent of classic prog rock songwriting (reminds me a lot of King Crimson at points honestly!), and fans of older progressive music will surely enjoy this side of it.

The other thing that makes Night Vision so interesting is that Bjeima's vocals are also placed very cleverly around the overall structure of the music, often in a way in which they peak when the music does, so that everything comes to a head simultaneously, and this is quite the smart technique when it comes to the song structure of the album as a whole. For example, around the 2 minute mark of "3 am Revolt," you have Bjeima laying down a very dreamlike guitar rhythm, which is underscored by a drum rhythm which ultimately leads into a heavier triplet rhythm around 3 minutes in. The vocals help the instrumentation build up to the rhythms that are to come, and vice versa, so that each helps to reinforce the power of the other at exactly the right moment, and this highly intelligent method continues all across the album, with many more examples throughout its duration.

Technical, and at some points quite psychedelic, guitar parts; very audible, intricate bass lines, and rich, deep vocals; all built around each other at just the right time within the songs, and all undertaken by a single man. Night Vision is by no means an easy album to digest, and is likely one of the types where you'll need to give it two or three listens to fully take it in, but that's part of what makes it so rewarding. Like with a good painting, the impact doesn't come immediately, but when it does, it blows the viewer off their feet. This is by far one of the most well-written and refreshingly original metal albums of the past year, and a must-have for anyone who enjoys creative and non-formulaic music. It's the type of album that leaves you wondering, in a somewhat dazed state, "what was going on in the mind of the person who composed this?" But, of course, that's part of what adds to the mysterious beauty of both Yurei and Night Vision. The fact that perhaps we're not supposed to know the answer. Just sit back, let the music do the talking, and get lost in it.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 08.01.2013 by
Apothecary
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a master. But without innovation, it is a corpse."
-Winston Churchill
More reviews by Apothecary ››



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Array - 08.01.2013 at 19:41  
It's nice to see a Yurei release reviewed, although I prefer the debut album Working Class Demon. Night Vision is a decent album.
Susan - 08.01.2013 at 19:59  
I am SOLD on this. Very excited to check it out.
eViL tAiLs - 08.01.2013 at 20:12  
This really reminds me of the band Virus in way of guitar riffs and the vocal style. Very cool review! And I am liking what I am hearing so far. Way to go to support this kind of record
Unhealer - 08.01.2013 at 20:18  
Aha... what is this and why haven't I checked it yet?
Array - 08.01.2013 at 20:22  
Written by eViL tAiLs on 08.01.2013 at 20:12

This really reminds me of the band Virus in way of guitar riffs and the vocal style.

Bjeima played bass on Virus' latest album, and as far as I know, he nowadays has some role in Virus as well.
eViL tAiLs - 08.01.2013 at 20:34  
That would explain it. After hearing 3 more songs, I would second and third this notion. This is basically a Virus copy, but with more twists and turns than the last Virus release which was very much one dimensional in approach.
R'Vannith - 09.01.2013 at 02:02  
King Crimson and Virus ey? Sounds like a must hear.
Unhealer - 09.01.2013 at 04:34  
Holy tits, this sounds great.
Kuroboshi - 09.01.2013 at 11:18  
This review reminds of Willy's review just a week ago or something.
INÆRIS - 17.01.2013 at 01:04  
This is interesting. I don't know if I quite like it. It sounds very stripped down to me. Overall better production would really help this album shine better.
RainingBlood - 29.01.2013 at 13:05  
Not sure which album was reviewed here, but the one I listened to resembled what 'on hold' music would sound like on an acid trip. Terrible, terrible conceptual dross, put together on a Bontempi keyboard from the 80s.
Monolithic - 03.02.2013 at 14:03  
I listened to a few tracks and I have to see it's a good effort indeed, the production is plausible in a way that all instruments are audible. I have to check out Virus as well to give my final verdict.

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