Holy Mountain

Yoga applies the bent, occult sonics and textures of black metal to the more measured atmospherics of guitar-based ambience on their new album Megafauna. It’s an interesting experiment. I was doubtful until twenty seconds into “Seventh Mind,” when a particle cloud of drifting electronics and treated guitar throbs become infected by some sort of curse and from then on, the album assumes a darker, moonwashed hue. It’s all desolate hums and creeping tension. Megafauna bears the strongest sonic resemblance to I Shalt Become, early Xasthur instrumentals, some of the work of Lurker of Chalice, and Aidan Baker’s perverse ambiance. It’s an interesting formula and makes for occasionally compelling listening, and it’s worthwhile for nothing else than taking back the ambient sonic palette from so much of the boring cod spirituality it’s often saddled with. What’s not so good is that Megafauna lacks the propulsion and momentum that even the so-called shoegaze/ambient black metal has. It’s an album that simmers and seethes, but without much focus, and it doesn’t even particularly revel in horror-movie atmospherics or psychological tension, just reflections in a black lake.

Holy Mountain:

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