Lights in the Murk
- 1.The Return Home05:49
- 2.The World, as It Was Sung to Be04:32
- 4.The Ending Arcane04:34
- 7.Mortal Vessel Drained03:59
- 8.Lights in the Murk04:50
It was back in 2012 when Pietro Baldan sent me his first EP release by his newborn project called Yass-Waddah. I lost track of the band ever since, although that EP had made a very good impression. Fast forward to today, the label supporting the band contacted me to send me the new material of the Italian band and to my surprise, they have already released three full length albums, in 2018, 2020 and 2023. Before starting this series of reviews, I spinned a couple of times “Cities of the Red Night” to remember what the band was about and why they had left me with a good feeling back then. And indeed, it was really useful to understand the changes and the improvement of the band all these years. I suggest that you do the same.
Starting with the full length of 2018 which is called “Lights in the Murk”, it was released on the 1st of September in digital, cd and lp format by They Live We Sleep Recordings and you can feel that a lot of changes have been done. Firstly, the logo is different and the cover is a modern, gloomy painting, a totally different approach from the classic, Renaissance painting of the EP. Another big change is the lineup, as here the only one that remains is Pietro Baldan. By hitting the play button and the first few seconds kick in, you can be sure that a lot has also been changed regarding the music too. The traditional, Scandinavian, Black Metal riffs have been enriched with a lot of majestic and epic moments, Thrash elements and Death touches here and there. The keyboards have a very active and important role in the compositions, as they add that intense, symphonic atmosphere which completes the new character of Yass-Waddah. The compositions are longer, about five, six minutes, and more complex with a lot of changes in the rhythm and the atmosphere. There are various passages, sometimes slow and atmospheric, other times rhythmic and other times chaotic and violent.
Despite the fact that the booklet mentions that music and lyrics are written by Yass-Waddah, everything here screams that the band became a one man project with session musicians. So, Pietro Baldan is also responsible for the production and playing the guitars and bass. Of course, the guitars are the highlight of the album, as they are played passionately and very accurately. The bass is not audible. The drummer hits hard and powerfully, making his performance very intense and at the same time very professional, as he is very accurate and consistent. The keyboard is the other very important instrument for the music, because it is the one that creates the atmosphere and adds that symphonic character to the project. In my opinion, the vocals are the weak element of the album. They are harsh and aggressive, professional vocals but generic and soulless. The production is clean and warm and the mixture is balanced, both implemented in a very professional way. Generally, the sound is more professional and delivered in a much more modern approach. The lyrics are contained in the booklet of the cd version, they are written in English and they talk about personal thoughts and experience under a veil of hatred, disappointment and despair.
In conclusion, I believe that this album is a step forward for the band. They are trying to leave the harsher and more straightforward approach, in order to deliver a richer, in every aspect, experience. However, if you like this approach or the older one, it is a matter of taste. I assure you though that in both phases, the band has delivered very good music. My favorite songs are The World, as It Was Sung to Be, Grief and Mortal Vessel Drained. If you like Black Metal with symphonic elements, atmospheric but still violent, with clean and more modern sound, this one’s for you.