You don’t just listen to Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, you are immersed in the theatrics and the epicness of the show.
I had no idea what to expect when I decided to attend the Yamantaka // Sonic Titan show. Needless to say I was blown away. The mind boggling began early on, with the cardboard cartoons on stage, band members sporting painted faces, and the epic entry of the vocalist escorted through the crowd by someone carrying an ancient Chinese style war banner as another band member crashes cymbals together. Some songs you would almost think the soft vocals of Bjork had teamed up with a prog band, while the next song has hardcore distorted riffs, double pedal thrash drumming and yelling. The hundreds of people in attendance at Babylon were in the same trance I was, mesmerized by what we were witnessing.
My favourite songs live were ”Whalesong,” which starts soft and grows into a mesmerizing finish where they sings, “They rise/ Into battle with the tide.” The other track that really blew me away was the bone-chrushingly heavy song where they sing ”Yama looking back at me” which was awesome and induced a mosh pit.
Ottawa’s gloomy and ghostly dance rockers The Yips hit the stage before Yamantaka. With the smoke machine in full effect they played a set full of new songs. The new stuff sounds excellent, especially the unreleased song, listed as “Sub” on their set list. Their upcoming album is definitely my most anticipated upcoming local release. It was very cool to see lead singer, Kerri Carisse, dawn a guitar for a song. But shackling her with an instrument limits her stage presence and energy. The tune sounded good but I prefer when she is set free. Even though almost the entire set was new tracks, they did find time to play one of my favourites, “Blood Meridian,” which is always awesome live.
Getting the night started was Blue Angel. The Ottawa psych/punk band, is formed of members of Boyhood, Organ Eyes and Roberta Bondar. They wore matching masks, matching sequin dresses and rocked with a ton of distortion. I loved the guitar riffs on one of their last songs, something about “I don’t need you, I don’t want you.” This was the first I ever heard of this band but I am really looking forward to seeing them more, I really like their potential. I’d also like to know why the drummer shrieked and moaned between songs, it worked, I am just curious.