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Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's much-anticipated second album does not disappoint. It's got all the heavy rhythmic power, noisy experimentalism (so much cymbal-crashing!) and distorted dissonance of the first one, plus plenty of devastating beauty. Ruby Kato-Attwood's emotional, operatic voice is more upfront in the mix, and set against sad, elegant piano lines it brings the chills on opener Atalanta, the psych-rock Whalesong, the two-part Seasickness and closer Saturn's Return.
The five-piece Montreal/Toronto noise-pop band keep things compositionally complex throughout, and each song rolls seamlessly into the next. They expand their sound with a touch of hardcore on Hall Of Mirrors, start the party with chant-heavy first single One, based on a traditional Iroquois song, and possibly overindulge their weirdness on Bring Me The Hand Of Bloody Benzaiten, essentially a drum solo filled out with ambient sounds.
Drummer/keyboardist Alaska B's production acts as a sixth member, unprettying the sweetness when necessary and filtering everything through a cacophonous art-punk filter.
Top track: Seasickness Part 1 & 2
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan play the Garrison on November 7.