Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Instrumental Progressive Rock
Release date: 21 April, 2013
Playing time: 60:55

How to review this album? Ysma are a band from Germany that presents an instrumental style of heavy prog. There is so much to say about the music, but it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. Well, first of all, the artwork is just sublime. It's gorgeous, and really lends itself to the music. I almost get an Incubus vibe from the art.

You know, I just found my beginning. I do get an Incubus vibe from much of the music, as well. I don't think this is necessarily purposeful, but I think it is a result of the many facets of the music. So, the grand sum of the album certainly seems to come from a deep mood like unto Pain of Salvation, a funkiness like Karnivool, and a bass-driven style like Riverside (though a strong guitar style like unto Porcupine Tree does appear now and then). These elements come together to form music that is playful but pensive, whimsical but grounded, and delicate but hefty. The music is often slow and thoughtful, but is very comfortable in the seemingly math rock-influenced portions. That is not to say, however, that this band is simply the sum of their influences. This band has some very original ideas and a certain jazziness to them that makes the music all their own.

The bass player is quite good, especially during the faster passages, while the guitarist shines more during the delicate, atmospheric tracks. Speaking of guitars, there are several styles present, from acoustic to hard rock to a more Riverside, high-tuned sound. All of them are performed admirably. The drummer seems to know how to keep the pace flawlessly, as this seems important with the good amount of noodling that takes place. Good noodling, though. I think my favorite tracks here are "The Wanderer", "Primetime Dreaming", "Clean", and "Remember Jenny Samkis". These tracks are moodier, more interesting, and very well executed.

Overall, this band has plenty to offer. Their debut could use some tightening and the musicianship could, too. However, there are some stunning passages here and there, a great atmosphere that lends itself to thought, and a oneness that you don't often find in young bands. Color me impressed.

01. Inchoate [Intro]
02. The Wanderer
03. Remember Jenny Samkis
04. Auditory Cheesecake
05. Penumbra
06. Urville Citizen
07. Flatland
08. Moth
09. Primetime Dreaming
10. Clean
11. Alan Smithee's Suicide Note
12. Kindermensch
Label: Independent
Distribution: Ysma @ Bandcamp
Artwork rating: 95/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 9 August, 2013
Website: Ysma @ Bandcamp