Review: Yeti Rain - III (2010)


artist: Yeti Rain
release: III
format: CD
year of release: 2010
label: Crim­sonic
dur­a­tion: 53:16

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

This third album by the Chicago-based trio Yeti Rain threw me quite a curve ball. Util­ising the basic setup of drums, elec­tric bass, and wood­winds (sax­o­phone and wind synth), the band belt out a series of tracks that are made up of equal parts rock, free jazz, funk, and omin­ous ambi­ent. While it takes some get­ting used to, I quickly found that these ele­ments mesh very well due to the skill­ful­ness of com­pos­i­tion (or impro­visa­tion) dis­played on this weird but excit­ing album.

The first two tracks lean very heav­ily towards the rock and funk side of the spec­trum, with solid driv­ing drums and the bass and winds provid­ing estranging melod­ies that cer­tainly qual­ify as jazzy and stim­u­lat­ing. “The Meet­ing” takes some of the instru­mental timbres already heard, but strips it down to an ambi­ent track without drums, nar­rated by a child’s voice. “Fires of Heaven” is another won­der­ful ambi­ent piece with flow­ing synth lay­ers, a touch of psy­che­delic bass, and per­cuss­ive swells. “The Sky Sickened” starts with more unnerv­ing sax work, and a dis­tor­ted piece of poetic and equally dis­turb­ing spoken word by bassist Wil­liam Kopecky. Later in the track, drums are added whilst the nar­rat­ive con­tin­ues, and the song shuttles between words and out­bursts of noise. The album’s clos­ing track is an echo-drenched piece of wood­winds and dis­tant words, seal­ing this series of tracks on a decidedly eerie note.

III was a sur­pris­ing record for me, not quite like most mater­ial we receive here, but cer­tainly a pleas­ant sur­prise. The album has a unique atmo­sphere and sound that might appeal to a very diverse listener base, from fans of progrock and free jazz to lov­ers of exper­i­mental and dark ambi­ent, or even avant­garde metal.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Plan­ets (10:30)
2. Dragon­fly Algebra (12:01)
3. The Meet­ing (6:49)
4. Fires of Heaven (6:56)
5. The Sky Sickened (11:11)
6. The Sixth Bowl of Wrath (5:48)