Review: Yellow Eyes – Rare Field Ceiling (Gilead Media, Jun 28)

I still remember the first time I heard Sick With Bloom, Yellow Eyes’ 2015 atmospheric masterpiece. With lo-fi grit, a palpable love for nature that isn’t at all forced or cheesy, and constant, unbridled passion, it’s a crowning achievement of the stateside black metal scene. 2017’s Immersion Trench Reverie was a bit of a new direction for the band that I admittedly didn’t enjoy as much, the New York quartet experimenting with psychedelic elements and a new vocal direction, but the emotion and reverence is still there in spades. But even though it just came out, I’m inclined to say that Rare Field Ceiling might exceed the amazing heights of both of these great albums. The record shows the band soaring with a newfound freedom: every evocative, climbing tremolo riff, every hypnotic double bass pulse, every desperate shriek flows forth with spellbinding fervor, an undammed river of nocturnal beauty. I can barely even express how perfect the production is. The album is mixed so well but also shrouded in a slightly muffling, blanketing warmth that imbues the music with a consuming, meditative atmosphere, like it’s blasting from the yawning mouth of a forgotten cave. From the cathartic guitar ascensions of “No Dust” to the angular rhythmic interplay of the title track to the sublime, reserved closer “Maritime Flare,” Rare Field Ceiling is nothing short of magnificent, an enduring triumph.