Year of the Flood’s debut EP, “A Utopian View” was a vicious slice of brutal, scything riffs and throat shredding vocal insanity that impressed me on every level. No sooner have the final notes of that putrid noise decayed and we’re hit with a follow up…barely giving us time to draw a fetid breath!!!
“Redefine the Natural Order” kicks off with the bloody mess of “Crimson Lake” and it’s clear to see that YOTF have made big moves since the first EP and have adopted elements of the post rock peddled by bands such as Isis and Pelican sucking them into their crusty D-beat infused mire. Clean guitars lull us into a false sense of security before the whirlwind of brutality hits. The guitars of Mars and Lister retain the vicious bite of before but are tempered with more harmonic overtones that belie the cut throat nature of the music. CJ’s vein bulging vocals are as scathing as ever but possess a stronger tone and greater rhythmic suss than before.
“Blysspluss” comes blasting right out of the arse of the previous track and is utterly relentless…like a dose of food poisoning after a Vindaloo!!! These guitars could leave scars and when they break down into some monstrously heavy grooves it’s like trying to give birth to a granite boulder!!! Track three, “Gripless” is similarly uncompromising and somehow finds an extra dose of dextrose to up the pace. Despite the sheer onslaught of noise, YOTF never lose sight of the inherent melody within the music with both guitars weaving around each other, each playing off the other and providing harmonic counterparts that give them an epic and expansive sound.
The epic, at a shade over 5 minutes, “Psychodrama” is heralded by a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder but this is no Sabbath trip into doom as a clean, insistent, almost Pink Floydian riff slowly drags us by the collar into a crawling mass of distortion. Following the insane energy blasts of the previous songs this track shows a far greater level of depth that proves that YOTF are no mere one trick hardcore ponies. This is the kind of thing that Isis made a brief career out of but, for me at least, never quite reached the heights of tormented power that these guys have achieved here. With nary a blast beat in sight, YOTF have successfully captured the apocalyptic vision that their name alludes to and the stripped down ending leaves us pause for thought.
So many bands that claim crust and D-beat as an influence seem content to let the noise and speed do the talking for them but Year of the Flood have something much deeper and visceral going for them; a beautiful collision of innate melodicism and thoughtful structuring with all out musical war!!! In a few short months and over the space of two incredible EPs the band have made the equivalent leap that Voivod made between “War and Pain” and “Dimension Hatross”. At this rate these guys could soon become a monster capable of bringing Tokyo to its knees but before they do I suggest you get your filth encrusted mitts on one of the 150 CD copies of this…or sling a few quid at them for a download!!!
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall