Reviews, Interviews, and Podcasts concerning the best Extreme Metal music

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers

This album was my number one album of 2021 and it was on a lot of end of year lists that year, but I still can’t help but feel Heavy Metal fans overall overlooked it. I still play this album at least once or twice a month and it holds up incredibly well.

“As the Flame Withers” weaves a dark tapestry that pulls listeners into the shadows of Black Metal with menace while still showcasing beauty with its use of melody. The partnership between Jim Mutilator and the Magus (Formerly of Greek band, Rotting Christ) spews forth with a blend of atmospheric aura and an almost overbearing sense of aggression. From the eerie introductory notes to the blistering riffs that follow, the album emphasizes the essence of a fear inducing journey through the listening experience and what makes Black Metal the genre that it is.

I will freely admit the vocals by The Magus will not be for everyone, but that being said I feel the vocals presented by him is a captivating force, easily transitioning between creepy whispers, brutal screams, and guttural roars that just have a palpable feel of anger unleashed. The dynamic vocal performance adds layers of emotional depth, expanding on the album’s ability to inspire a range of intense emotion. The guitar work is also worthy of note, characterized by intense melodies and dissonant harmonies, showcases a level of professionalism that distinguishes Yoth Iria within the genre of Black Metal as well as their experience as musicians overall.

The production quality is also worthy of praise, as each instrument is perfectly clear and the levels are absolutely impeccable in the overall mix. The quieter sections of the album really stand out in the way they build towards the heavier sections to the point of having a palpable sense of anticipation. Track four, “The Mantis” is a perfect representation of this and, not surprisingly, one of my favorite tracks on the album. Yoth Iria’s ability to blend tradition with innovation results in an album that both pays homage to the genre’s roots and pushes its boundaries.

In the genre of Black Metal overall, “As the Flame Withers” stands as a testament to Yoth Iria’s artistic vision and technical prowess. It lays out a visceral journey through the darkness that is a hallmark of the genre, leaving the bands stamp on the evolving landscape of Black Metal. The genre has grown by leaps and bounds in the last five to ten years and this album is yet another example of that progression. If you are a fan of Black Metal at all, I would be absolutely shocked if this album did nothing for you. Beyond highly recommended.

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