In just two years, Swiss-Italian band Yabanci has forged a personal and recognizable style within Goth Rock. Although firmly based on the 'old school' genre guidelines, its sound seems pretty original due to some differential features. The first evidence of Yabanci is not a conventional outfit, is the presence of a female singer in the band's line-up. It's rather difficult to find a so-called orthodoxe ensemble without the traditional baritone-like vocalist. If the singing is lead by a woman that draws her inspiration from the early Post Punk divas, the issue will get even more complicated. Precisely, Laura LadyGhost is one of the strengths of Yabanci in my opinion. Her swoop and soaring vocals imbue the pieces with a proper sense of dread and drama. Along with the rhythmical section, vox also provides an interesting tribal counterpoint to the refined guitar melodies. Another band's highlight are the delicate arpeggios by Valerio, which surround the songs with a mysterious aura and make sense to his trascendental lyrics. Yabanci's debut EP "Birth" (released in February 2013) faithfully represents these virtues. Even though it's the band's first musical affair, this mini album yet makes clear that they know exactly where they're going. The instrumental title track is a sufficiently epic glimpse of the things to come. "Birth" condensed all the Goth Rock essentials like a stroke of nostalgia and then jumps into the throbbing "Ars Nova", fast-paced through powerful bass lines and Dimitri's addictive drumming. The jangly melodies plunge the listener into an ancient religion soundscape, where LadyGhost makes her pagan invocations. The following "Covenant" comes with classic Nephilim chords and vocals vitally increase the drama, adding more depth and despair, along with the subtle sweeping synths and the gloomy bass lines. More traditional and rocking, "The Bless" comes in. Moody bass gallops and low guitar figures take the pulse hovering over all. Forbidding thuds and crashes bring the song under control. Almost imperceptible, a sacred chant ties into the song theme, while the surrounding theatrical voices claim for salvation with an ominous vibe. Following "Fear" is propelled by a groovy Post Punk backbone. Henceforth, some crafty weeping melodies twirl around the steady core, sharping de melancholic singing. With "The Absolute" tempo slows down, preparing the heart-wrenching ambiance. Valerio's delicate guitar play join the vocals in an emotive duet that takes into reverie. Synth and bass accompaniment weaves a yet more hypnotic spell on the listener. Spherical and epic, this tune makes up the EP's crowning moment. Bonus track "Last Page" closes this brilliant debut, showing that the band's talent passes the live test with a good mark. Through this brief, yet intense EP, Yabanci demonstrates enough credentials to refresh the trustworthy Goth Rock, imbuing it with private blackness and mystery.
Review by Billyphobia