Yakuza – Sutra

One Listen Review

1st Listen: 17 May 2023
Reviewed: 17 May 2023

Yakuza – Sutra

Svart Records
Release – 19 May 2023

Yakuza will release their 7th full-length album via Svart Records. This should be enough of a reason for you to check Sutra and its 10 jazz-infused, avant-garde metal tracks, as Svart Records have potentially the most eclectic, high quality roster of bands out there.

Sutra is no exception. Opening with a clarinet, 2is1 is a strong opening track, and for a newcomer to the band giving it the first listen, it only just begins to hint at what the rest of the album will entail. Over the next 50 odd minutes, you do not know where the next song will lead. Will it be the crunchy, urgent riffs or will it be dominated by clarinet?

But, it is not only clarinets that you hear. Numerous tracks feature a saxophone, an instrument that should not sit as well in a rock/metal environment as well as it does. Echoes From the Sky, the 3rd track showcases this with an unfeasible level of confidence. The guitar tone is immense, the sax is even better and it is potentially the best track on the album. You will edge towards being transfixed by Yakuza.

The album begins to slow mid-way through, with Embers and Capricorn Rising eschew the intense riffage, with the latter especially featuring more of a melodic guitar alongside the Sax.

Sutra handles the track listing with aplomb, ensuring that slower tracks are interspersed with faster, riff-laden chunky toned tracks. This is important, as the album could have led to a loss of interest if they hadn’t got this right, Walking God is the 3rd of the slow tracks and arguably the most uninteresting on the album.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the album is that you cannot name a band that Yakuza sound like. They sit in their own space, operate in a space where there are few contemporaries. It has been 10 years since Yakuza released album number 6. It is clear that this 10 years has provided great ideas that have been showcased on Sutra and it is clear to see why they are on the Svart Records label. 

Eclectic, interesting and ultimately a damn fine album, Sutra is an absolute joy to listen to.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: