Hailing from the U.S.A., namely from amongst the grand lakes of Michigan state, Yellowtooth are a three-piece act that categorize themselves as a “unique form of heavy metal, incorporating styles from doom and sludge to a sonic cacophony of speed metal”. To be released in the end of April 2021, “The Burning Illusion” is the follow-up to their sophomore album, “Crushed by the Wheels of Progress”.
Right of the bat, this album comes across as a somewhat meat-and-potatoes southern doom/sludge metal release. With the album’s first song, “FFTF”, greeting us with strong hints to Crowbar and Down. Peter Clemens’ voice also does not shy away from that first impression, fitting in like a glove with his dry, raspy scream, accompanied by Sabbath-like back vocals. However, one simply has to give the album a moment to develop, for as the tracklist progresses, Yellowtooth progressively (double-pun intended) show us that they have more to offer than run-of-the-mill southern style doom metal. Which, albeit serving as backdrop throughout the album, it quickly gives way to the band’s many influences to start seeping through the cracks. Whiffs of progressive metal, hard rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, groove metal, among others, adding to the aforementioned doom and sludge, can be easily spotted throughout the record.
The drums and guitar work are incredibly well performed, bound together by bass lines which let the remaining instruments shine by going straight to the point. Same can be mentioned for the Obituary-like growls heard throughout the entire work, which only sin for their lack of diversity. Moreover, Yellowtooth’s composition style is so natural that even the less conventional sonic landscapes flow so well that they appear to be born to be together. As for the production, it’s just perfect for this kind of release – not too clean, but sounding balanced and with all instruments and voice sounding both clear, dynamic and powerful.
Definitely one of the best albums of 2021 so far. If the rest of the year is populated by releases with similar quality, it will be a great year to be a metal fan.