Call To Confirm Colored Copies Are Still Available
There's a whole world contained within Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. They're a Noh-Wave prog collective, a black-and-white (and sometimes red) theatre company, an operatic psych cult, and the speculative prophets of humanity's impending doom. Above it all, though, they're a thunderous rock band, and on their third album, Dirt, they're the heaviest they've ever been. Though they've been an amorphous beast since they formed in 2010, Dirt follows the group's most significant evolution in years. Now totally Toronto-based, they've added new singer Joanna Delos Reyes, guitarist Hiroki Tanaka and bassist Brandon Lim, who, along with the towering drums of leader/artist Alaska B, singer Ange Loft and keyboardist Brendan Swanson, turn the group into a driving engine of sound.
The band's first album since 2013's UZU, their second straight to be shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, it was conceived as the soundtrack for an unreleased Haudenosaunee and Buddhist themed Anime produced in 1987. Like UZU, it takes place on the planet Pureland, now 10,000 years after the planet has flooded. The surviving people live within bubble domes floating in orbit. A team of mercenaries descends into the drowned wreckage of the world to receive the last sample of uncorrupted soil. Never abandoning their irreverent edge, the band pushes further into madness and finds clarity in it, combining Kanien creation story and Buddhist principles with classic sci-fi themes to show how humanity continues to succumb to its worst impulses: madness, hubris and greed.
With a sarcastic sigh that crosses political spectrums, Dirt confronts the lies that we tell ourselves and each other and asks what it means to push forward for an ideal just to die anyway. Narratively, it's the most ambitious project they've ever done. Musically, though, they've streamlined their sound, digging into both heavy and poppy influences like Judas Priest, Killing Joke, and Jordan Knight and translating them into their own unmistakable aesthetic.