I can not think about better title for Yabanci's first full-length CD than "Grimorium" as it is somehow a spell book of sounds where forgotten magic of Goth Rock is invoked. Not only that, but also this atavism is imbued with a strong feeling of remoteness and ritualism. Conjuring symbols must be properly combined to prevent chaotic results and so the Italian/Swiss outfit has meticulously taken care of the smallest detail in its long-awaited grimoire. Everything in this record - aesthetics, music, lyrics and production - is skilfully interlocked to construct weird realities which are permeated with an exciting esoteric vibe. LadyGhost switches between breathy wails and punkish stacattos as harboring a devilish spirit of Anja Huwe (Xmal Deutschland); vocals sway with Valerio's flawless guitar playing, whose riffs and shimmers seem to pay true homage to both early Fields of the Nephilim and Singles-era Sisters of Mercy, while subtle programming and synths spread their gloom just in the right dose. In carge of trigger such a ritual there are precise percussion and prominent bass lines duly enriched with effects. In a nutshell, what "Grimorium" treasures is evolutionary throwback Goth Rock through and through. Even though this should not be surprising to those familiar with Yabanci's debut EP "Birth" (2013). In fact, six tunes from that mini-album have been featured in the tracklist of "Grimorium", besides the studio version of "Last Page" (previously released as live recording). You can read more about it here, since I'll focus on the new songs hereafter.
Immediately when the threefold opener is launched off one is caught by the sense of eminently well-done Goth Rock. "Birth - Procession - Lemegeton" comprises over ten minutes of other-worldly voyage. There's a seamless fusion of both smoky, Morricone's western chords and rumbling bass crunches with the ominous flavor of the music in general. Its female hearfelt invocations, in duet with lush jangly guitar, tell stories of occult ceremonies and cloak the soundscape with a mystic energy. Everything flows with ease through the crafted transitions - I'll particularly remark the one connecting "Procesion" to "Lemegeton" - and the pace changes are well-managed which along with little surprises - like the Hammond organ sound lurking over the last third - make the triple piece an absolute highlight here, balanced and varied despite its long length. "Solve et Coagula" comes through meandering riffs soaked with dusty allure and the stormy rhythmical section takes gradually the reins, while distant sampled chants infect the track with their doom. As "The Deep" moves forward, a sort of angst takes root in the environment throughout the vibrant vocal delivery - turned into Siouxsie-style heartbreak - and melodies from the guitar become more and more high-pitched as the song nears its dramatic end: "Take me out from the deep my child / the deep my child / the deep my child". For its part, "Vision" is tuned to a proto-gothic frecuency, featuring typically sinous chords, pulsating Post-Punk bass, sung soars full of abandon and calling-the-tribe drums propelling the whole thing with dexterity. And so these sonic talismans follow one to another up to a total of ten, as revelations of remote Goth knowledge, providing charms for those warding off the Alternative evil.
Review by Billyphobia