Song: Ylaviastu Band/Artist:Methiums Location: Surabaya, Indonesia Date of Release: 24th December 2014 Genre: Instrumental Progressive Metal Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: Intervals, Cloudkicker, Haunted Shores Why They Aren’t Famous: Just needs to make a breakthrough album that will soar across the Internet like the Bubonic Plague.
I haven’t reviewed an instrumental band for a very long time. I actually miss it a lot because I like to go deep into the compositional ability of the instruments. My natural instrument is guitar so I am an appreciator of instrumental music since the days when my father showed me Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Over the course of my short musical life of 9 years, I now am a vocalist in my band so I have led astray from listening to much instrumental work however I think this is about to change. With powerhouses like Plini, Polyphia and Chon coming into the scene after years of hard-work and underground worship, I think there will be another wave of instrumental bands/artists coming through. I really hope that Indonesian lone-wolf Arya Akbara of ‘Methiums’ can become a household name in the future too.
The exposition of ‘Ylaviastu’ commences with a catalytic burst through octave-harmonised guitars, flamboyant fills and well-crafted chords. Despite it’s overall grandeur feel, there are slight gloomy and insecure feelings that grasp you throughout with diminished runs and semi-tonal thrashings. The guitars are most definitely the focal point in the song and pulls a plethora of influences such as metal, rock, jazz and even the blues. The best part of it all is that it all flowed together, nothing was forced or jarring. The transitions were smooth and the performance was flawless.
If you enjoy frantic harmonies and chords with guitar-playing you will most love this song, they reminded me of Haunted Shores and Protest The Hero at points. All the single-pan guitar leads/riffs that were isolated brought a really old school progressive metal vibe. Hearing a D# as a tonic note also assisted this too. Most prog metal nowadays just seems to either stay in standard tuning or tune ridiculously low with extended range, it’s refreshing to hear this 6-string style again and also still be innovative.
Another convention I liked was the fact that most of the guitars parts were in unison but then there would be little breakaway harmony parts that just elevated the atmosphere in my ears. There is no guitar wankery at all and it is truly virtuosic in a unique, flamboyant way through chromaticism, sequences and scaled runs.
Despite its polarising, muted tone, I enjoyed the clean bridge. It truly did what a bridge is meant to do, transition to the capitulation of the track. Whilst preparing for the climax to end the song, for a glimpse of a few bars or so I felt like I was listening to a chill-step track in the likes of Blackmill where a nice electronic beat would present itself. The clean section was so perfectly placed that it could transition into anything besides a tri-tonal breakdown and I wouldn’t be fussed.
The chords at the start of the climax section were very standard for something that clinically ends a song but it was the way it was crafted. A nice gallant solo came charging through the front lines of the rhythm section. It was like the Riders of Rohan charging into the flanks of the Orcs of Mordor at Minas Tirith. Driving them back to the Black Gate with ease. It wasn’t over-shreddy but enough to make you want to give a token of appreciation.
The drums were programmed, I have no problem with that whatsoever. The problem I have is that it was aurally out of proportion in my opinion. I felt that the snare was just too. overpowering. It felt like a chinese water torture device dropping water on my forehead after being locked in after five minutes. The cymbals weren’t piercing enough as I enjoyed hearing the bells but they were extremely quiet and under the radar.
Whilst I am here I’d like to say that the overall mix was very thin and just didn’t have an epic feeling to it that you’d normally hear. It was like going to the gym to worship Zyzz but forgetting about leg day. No one likes chicken feet. Perhaps it needed more prominent atmospheric, ambient electronic work through keys and native instruments plug-ins. It was very raw and I do appreciate that but if Methiums are going to contend with the big boys, he’ll need to step it up next time around.
‘Ylaviastu’ is a great first impression to me for what seems like a potential of being a fantastic solo-instrumentalist. Coming from a country like Indonesia that has a very unique, niche alternative music scene, this is marvellous for not only the nation but for the entire world. I really have high hopes for Methiums as I feel that ‘Ylaviastu’ is a rough diamond that just needs some further polishing…
Guitars: 9/10 Bass: 6.5/10 – was this programmed or played? Barely could hear it. Drums: 7.5/10 Production: 5/10 – Raw, however very thin and unbalanced. Don’t skip leg day brah. Songwriting: 10/10 Overall IPHYB Rating: 7.5/10 Personal Enjoyment Factor: 9/10 – I expect to hear more soon! Go check out his other material HERE!
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