Kusanagi: Yugen

Kusanagi - Yugen album cover Date Released: 10/26/2015
Label: Independent
Album Type: Full Length
Band info: Facebook

I am never sure with instrumental math/post metal. I have been conditioned in to expecting a vocal, even if it is an infrequent whisper. And Kusanagi fall in to that instrumental math camp as they have recently and successfully crowdfunded their new album Yugen, no easy task, which does seem to be a good way to approach making music these days.

Kusanagi deliver what I expect, from jazz influenced time changes, staccato guitar and use of space and quietude to allow for new directions to appear. Opening track “Celestial” does this really well as it introduces different parts of the tune along the way. “Lemuria” uses the familiar sound of a guitar resonating off in to the distance. I guess this is where my replacement vocal is attained, the guitars become the vocals, but not in a Vim Fuego “my guitar speaks for me” kinda way. It is gentle, sometimes just an odd note playing its own call and response as they again introduce a new chapter creating a new sound. The guitar interplay here allows me to start to lose myself as I begin to swim in the sounds.

There’s something of Yes about Kusanagi, and I don’t mean that in the normal critical or condescending way.It is clean, yet angular, powerful yet gentle. And it makes me think of early Yes. Although ‘Valley of the Wind’ takes us to a whole new arena, pounding drums and bass, and deep dark guitar throngs as deep and heavy as some of Earthmass’ output, which create some of the heaviest music I’ve encountered live.

“Axis Mundi” means the place where heaven and earth join, the centre of the cosmos, and Kusanagi are able to create a sound as if I am walking round exploring this marvelous, magnificent garden of heaven and earth… maybe the lack of vocal is allowing my mind to wander more as I direct myself without anyone telling me to do so. Or am I analysing this too much? It’s very pleasant anyway!

Explore Kusanagi yourself.

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