Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yakuza - Transmutations

With high praise from the metal press, local and national newspapers, and highbrow publications alike, Chicago’s Yakuza has succeeded in garnering attention of all kinds, all the while not compromising the band’s free-flowing and spontaneous musical integrity. Yakuza stays deeply rooted in a genre all its own: a metal base with progressive flair, while incorporating elements of jazz, world beat, and post-rock ambience. Picture (if you can) a mixture of King Crimson, all periods of John Coltrane’s career, Tortoise, and Napalm Death. The end result is captivating, a sound that Rolling Stone, Revolver, Alternative Press, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, All That Jazz and countless others all agree is refreshingly original and technically proficient, all the while still staying very metal.

Yakuza has always fundamentally been about bending the rules of preconceived musical limitations without ever having to utter a word about it, the Yakuza sound speaks for itself. Samsara, the new record and ensuing journey, is full of peaks and valleys, overtly harsh and aggressive at points, yet mind-trippingly mellow at others. The contrasting soundscapes collide together in an effective symbiosis, creating one of the most all-inclusive albums since Pink Floyds The Wall. Skillfully weaving saxophone melodies and eerie musical landscapes alongside scathing metal riffs and screams alongside an intensely musical rhythm section, Yakuza cannot be considered an acquired taste - it is taste.

(Taken from

1. Meat Curtains
2. Egocide
3. Congestive Art Failure
4. Praying for Asteroids
5. Raus
6. Steal the Fire
7. The Blinding
8. Existence into Oblivion
9. Perception Management
10. Black Market Liver
11. Zombies


  1. There are a million things that the members of Chicago metal quartet Yakuza do right on their fourth LP, Transmutations. They start it off with the hugest, most corrosive chord ever recorded.