Yay! Lament all you want, but your pricey earphones are going to be under-utilized by yet another primitive-sounding, one-man black metal project (why the heaven do these anti-social cavemen never go away? [Because FUCK YOU that’s why! – AMG]). Happy Metal Guy loves seeing people’s expensive listening gear go to waste on these pesky black metal records, but due to his nonexistent contract with Angry Metal Guy, he’s not really obliged to provide some kind of justification for why people ought to avoid this record.
The project’s name, Yayla in case you missed it, is Turkish for “alpine meadow” or “mountain plateau”, which explains the mountainous scenery depicted in the album artwork, and it has been around for six years. Cryptically-titled, Nihaihayat is Yayla’s fourth full-length album and also the 20,385,297,041th record to join the tr00, kvlt and poverty-stricken Hall of Fuzz. The last time Happy Metal Guy checked, the inflation rate in there was around 6.6 sextillion percent.
Opening and closing tracks “Integumental Grasp” and “In Senility” are the most interesting moments on this record, but guess what? They are literally not of a metal nature. Both tracks are ambient keyboard instrumentals that seem to want to serve as a dramatic introduction and conclusion respectively, but their celestial sound contrasts too sharply with the primitive sonic murk—comprised of three B-grade black metal soap operas—in the body, making them sound superfluous.
Nihaihayat, which consists of a grand total of three long-winded tracks that take up slightly more than 41 minutes of album time, yields no surprises at all. Be awed by repetitive blast-beating, perennially tremolo-picked guitars dishing out repetitive tunes, barely audible croaks echoing in the sonic backdrop intermittently and, of course, wonderfully lo-fi production! Oh, what would black metal music ever do without you! Like how Naruto Shippuuden would do without filler arcs, perhaps? [I am lost and therefore angry. – AMG]
With that said, judged as a standalone track, “Integumental Grasp” deserves praise. It is a haunting instrumental that beautifully builds up a dangerous sense of serenity, sounding like a cross between occultic hymns and the soundtracks typically heard in sci-fi horror movies from the ‘70s. Repetition is a legitimate musical device. As with all good things, however, overusing it can seriously backfire; and Yayla does just that with one of the most annoying repetitions Happy Metal Guy has ever heard. From 4:31 to 5:54 in the third track, “Immortalizing the Nine”, a guitar-bass-and-drum motif repeats itself over and over again, as though fearing that listeners are amnesiac. The whole damn thing goes on for 1 minute and 23 seconds!
Listening to this record is quite similar to doing readings on research sampling methods. One would get so bored that staring at pesky ants scouring your study desk for potato chip fragments is a more interesting thing to do.
Turkey is a non-Scandinavian country. By the luscious locks of Doris Yeh, Yayla, stop imitating traditional Norwegian black metal and compose sonically unique songs to showcase your country’s cultural identity. No, no, no—the project name, album title, cover art and lyrics do not count. Fix the music.