Way of the Dead (Century Media)

Reviewed by Holly Day

Yakuza combines elements of free jazz with heavy metal and psychedelia to make just incredibly powerful-sounding washes of music, with some vocals thrown on top as though by afterthought. Not that the vocals are bad, or even sound as though they were actually an afterthought. It's just that the music - horns, drums, guttural drones from either a keyboard or some wizened little throat singer, and a fucking nasty-sounding, grinding guitar - are so attention-grabbing that something as inconsequential as words or a human voice can't hope to distract from the onslaught of the instrumentation. This is one of those albums that no matter how quiet you play it, it still seems like you're playing it too loud for the neighbors.

© 2002 - Holly Day