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Yang: The Failure of Words

Glenn Astarita By

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World class German touch guitarist Markus Reuter (Stick Men, Europa String Choir) and Benjamin Schäfer enhance this soundscape with sterling audio processes to extract the inherent power and resiliency of this French / German quartet on its 3rd release. Abetted by a detailed soundstage that highlight's the band's commanding presence, the packaging references late artist Bruno Medonca's work that keenly merges a sense of antiquity with an ultra-modern stance.

Yang is an explosive yet disciplined band amid all the brazenly executed fireworks and shifting time signatures. Indeed, they're a formidable progressive rock quartet but quite mobile and undeniably assertive. With solid rhythmic foundations, along with Frédéric L'Épée and Laurent James' angular chord voicings and stinging sustain driven leads, the quartet often fuses harmonious storylines into the mix. They occasionally rekindle classic prog by fusing whimsical themes into serrated dialogues and torrid prog—metal breakouts atop drummer Volodia Brice's slamming backbeats. However, the musicians remain flexible throughout by not dishing out a formulaic approach as they are apt to shift gears on a nanosecond's notice.

"9/8 Variations" is built on the guitarists' intricate phrasings within a circular plot that elicits notions of an Irish Jig that was gutted and reimagined into a hyper-mode blowout, and "Slow Flow (Flux Lent)" is an ascending ballad with distortion- laced ostinatos and howling guitar licks that contrasts a diminutive primary motif. Moreover, "Indecision" features Robert Fripp-like chord progressions, nicely offset by bassist Nico Gomez' contrapuntal statements. Once again, the ensemble generates a high-impact and immensely entertaining trek into prog rock nirvana.

Track Listing: El Diablo; Six Four Five; Iago; 9/8 Variations; Babel Inside; Slow Flow (Flux Lent); Indecision; Decroissance (Degrowth); Healing (Guerison).

Personnel: Frédéric L'Épée: guitars, keyboards; Laurent James: guitar; Nico Gomez: bass; Volodia Brice: drums.

Title: The Failure of Words | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Unsung Records

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