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monodicus, palmarium, yamatu - 92%

Baal_Graphics, November 10th, 2007

Filler... what is the definition of fillter tracks? I urge every individual to see Yamatu's work as a whole. If you are only looking for Black Metal, you might see the non-Black Metal tracks as filler tracks and/or valueless, but I see equal value in these tracks. I am rather passionate about Ambient, so perhaps this is why I do not dislike these tracks, but even if you dislike Ambient, a true artist does not add valueless elements to his work to make the quantity worthy; he adds these elements to create something he sees as a whole, thus you should accept it as it is. I do not try to force you to like everything on this album; I am merely educating you in how you should see this album, and any other album by a true artist.

This album I consider close to perfection, in that I am looking for originality, devotion, passion, intelligence and occultism. These terms are all present in the music of Yamatu. The only element that devalues this release, is the monotonous drumming you will hear now and then.

What you can expect from Yamatu is a bizarre mix of Black Metal, symphony and ritualistic Ambient, with sickening Black Metal vocals, slightly deep clean vocals, and some reverberations. Above all, though, a pretentious amount of atmosphere. I definitely recommend to read the lyrics, incase you usually do not. They are completely packed with symboly and obscure names, which you could have never heard of unless you dig deeper into the library of occult knowledge than merely the succesful "Satanism" department. This is one of the most occult bands existing, and one of the finer ones in the genre aswell.

Momentous achievements amongst much filler - 75%

Reaper, November 15th, 2006

I’m thrilled that I was able to obtain this album, not because it’s perfect but rather that it offers and array of songs that make the album worthwhile. The production is the magic behind this piece of underrated Black Metal, although many different factors contribute to this record’s uniqueness, the analog recording adds to the eeriness of the atmosphere. Though generally this record is very decent, it suffers in that filler songs outweigh the great mind altering tracks. These tracks set the atmosphere perfectly with a unique fusion of production and almost under tonal guitars and repetitive drilling at points.

The music ranges from quietly eerie melodies and similarly eerie vocals complimented with soft guitar undertones, to heavy riffage, and an almost dirty heavy metal feel to it at times, complimented with softly creepy vocals. Certain tracks are simply chaotic black metal, coincidentally these are the more forgettable tracks, others contain elements of ambience and then develop into a faster paced riff barrage, while yet others can only be described as frightening. This especially applies to both “Ishkur Egishnugal” tracks as well as the Jacula (a progressive rock band in the line of Devil Doll) cover that carry with them a hauntingly eerie vocal performance. One of the more outstanding aspects is that the vocalist doesn’t have a good voice or singing ability, but that it matches the music perfectly and, inadvertently or not, does for a disturbing experience. The vocals, throughout most of the tracks, are done in such a manner that they echo and create a double vocal assault that conjures up a mesmerizing hypnosis of mind altering proportions.

Overall the album is recommended as you’re still getting a hefty amount of amazing Black Metal. The better songs on this album are momentous and bring me optimism to the possibility that Black Metal is still alive somewhere.

Some brilliant songs, but lots of filler, too - 80%

vorfeed, October 10th, 2005

This is the first full-length demo collection from Yamatu, an American band playing ritualistic black metal.

The guitars here are thin, and low in the mix. There's plenty of synth to be had, and the vocals are soaked in effects. The result is high, echoing, vomitous vox that are quite creepy at times. The drums are programmed, but they're not too bad, and don't distract much from the album.

I've been meaning to review this one for some time. Shurpu Asaru has been a favorite of mine since it was released in the year 2000; though most of the songs are nothing special, there are a few excellent tracks that conjure a truly bizarre atmosphere. It's odd, because songs like "Akakharu" and "The Sixth Gate Shines No More" are kind of typical, and the re-release track "Dalkhu Zilittu" is about the most awful crime ever committed in the name of black metal, yet other songs are genius. "The Waters of Egura Stir" is creepy as hell, with a memorable theme; "Enki Adu En I" doesn't sound like anything else I've heard, with its weird middle-eastern melody and triumphant guitars. "At the Stream's Edge" starts with some gentle acoustic guitar, then moves into breakneck riffing and completely insane vocals.

Overall, Shurpu Asaru has more bad and/or mediocre tracks than good ones, but the good ones are shockingly great. It's a shame this album isn't five or six songs shorter than it is, but it's easy enough to skip the boring ones, and there are some real gems here. Besides, how can anyone dislike a black metal band that covers Jacula? Highly recommended.

Standout tracks: "The Waters of Egura Stir", "Enki Adu En I", "At the Stream's Edge"

Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net