Thursday 3 May 2012

Yog - Half The Sky

Yog are a grindcore band from Neuchâtel, Switzerland who are signed to Division Records. A while ago, I featured their Swiss labelmates Unfold, and was really impressed, so couldn't wait to listen to what Yog had to offer. Admittedly, it's taken me a little longer than I would have liked to get this review out, but at least now, I can Half The Sky the column space it deserves.


1. Needle In Black
2. 92%
3. Solar Nature
4. Calculate The Plan And Escape

5. Fist Fuck On The Way Home
6. I Shall Scream A Beginning
7. Plastic Child

8. Ugly Liars Behind Baby Masks
9. Adam Wanted To Stay The Only One
10. Breaking The Spell
11. Stones
12. We Need Your Opinion (Just in order to ignore it)

The guitar into at the start of Needle In Black makes you think you are listening to something far more saccharine than you're about witness. No sooner has the intro ended, that Yog's brand of hardcore inspired grind begins. It's fast and has some really great mathcore touches. It's very angular and dissonant, but with the occasional glimpses of warp-speed drumming, Yog keep you on your toes. Needle in Black fades out to reveal 92%. This song is all the more intense. It's really hard to pin down, as the music changes at the blink of an eye, no two riffs or rhythms are the same at the start. Yog do pull out some groove towards the end of the song, but leave you exhilarated and ready for more.

Solar Nature shows off the musicianship of the band, going from all out grind madness, to traditional song structures with consummate ease. Some of the rhythms from the drums are something else, obviously played by a drummer with more than just ability. The guitar and bass also work really well with the percussion, pulling off some jazz inspired time signatures and passages that require complete concentration from you. The vocals too are as passionate as you'd like, especially in Calculate The Plan and Escape. I do hear glimpses of At The Drive-In within their music, as sometimes there are subtle glimpses of cleaner riffs.

The amusingly titled Fist Fuck on The Way Home is just that. Absolute chaos, with the odd falsetto scream chucked in for good measure. The production on the album is really good. It's loud and helps each part standout well, to help Yog achieve there aim of blowing your head off. They throw in something akin to a breakdown in I Shall Scream A Beginning. The songs are a mixture of lengths, Yog don't go for all out blasts, but don't take things too far, cramming enough imagery and variation into each song.

Plastic Child is an instrumental track gives you time to get your breath back, before the sound levels build up to almost deafening levels and then die away as quickly as they came. It also signifies the midway point in Half The Sky. If you’re at this point, then you’re obviously a seasoned vet when it comes to extreme metal. You've buckled yourself to experience more forward thinking nuttiness. Ugly Liars Behind Baby Masks is a great song, containing some brilliant ideas including blood curdling growls and vocals which sound like groans, which show that Yog have a sense of humour.

Adam Wanted to Stay The Only One sounds like a sarcastic way of saying that the planet is overcrowded, and Yog could clear away a few none believers with this glorious racket. Breaking The Spell goes by far too quickly, being the fastest song on Half The Sky. It also brings you to Yog's final two salvos. Stones and We Need Your Opinion (just in order to ignore it). Stones is a mental song, which sloes right down till only a deafening cry of feedback is left. We Need Your Opinion (just in order to ignore it) is the song with what could be considered the most traditional structure but it doesn't disappoint, as no sooner has the spoken word sample finished, does it kick in with one last blast of mathy-grind.

This is experimental and I know I've referred to it as grind, but it feels unfair to label it. It's original and inspired. Yog are another example of the incredible forward thinking presence of the Swiss extreme metal scene right now. They can only more forward and bring the rest of us kicking and screaming with them!

Yog have a website at and a Facebook page at You can purchase Half The Sky from Division Records at or via their Facebook page at

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more with your review. "Half the Sky" is one of the top albums I've heard during the last year!