Along with “Your vinyl won’t be pressed until 2023”, “long-awaited” is perhaps one of the most over-used phrases kicking around the music industry today. But in the case of LA-based purveyors of groove All Hail The Yeti, it is very apt. With a studio output perhaps only rivaled by Adele, AHTY is very much of the quality-rather-than-quantity way of thinking, and ‘Within The Hollow Earth’ (the fourth release in nine years) lands three years after the ‘Highway Crosses’ album, and boy, it has been well worth the wait. The worldwide lockdown obviously played its part in delaying the EP – seven tracks in length, with an extra track on the CD version (so, fuck you, Daniel Ek. Eat a bag of dicks, Bezos) – and rather cunningly, AHTY sneaked the EP out one week before Adele clogs up the airwaves (and vinyl pressing plants) with her latest tales of woe.
Like some have pointed out before, All Hail The Yeti comes close to what happens if you mix the buzzsaw grooves of Pantera, and the sludge of Down, with the gut-wrenching, tortured vocals of Alice In Chains. Throw in some classic American Hardcore vocals (‘Funeral Heart’) and you are nearly there. ‘Within The Hollow Earth’ is tasty. Very, very tasty. And like the mythical creature the band takes its name from, it leaves a footprint bigger than Joe Biden’s cavalcade of 20+ gas-guzzlers speeding through Glasgow on his way to pick up a 12” munchy box from Twice As Spice before they close. The harsh vocals from Connor Garritty are as impressive as ever and form a fantastic duality with Nicholas Diltz’s wonderfully melodic clean vocals. The overlapping vocals on the aforementioned ‘Funeral Heart’ really stand out and should have anyone checking the EP out through a decent pair of cans purring with delight.
Named after the Norse home of the dwarves that made Thor’s hammer, ‘Nidavellir’ (“Nidavellir is real? Seriously? I mean, that place is a legend. They make the most powerful, horrific weapons to ever torment the universe. I would very much like to go there, please.” – Rocket Raccoon) is arguably the standout moment of the EP. A slamming, crunching intro that bleeds into some killer, groove-filled riffs from Dave Vanderlinde and a vocal tour-de-force from both vocalists. Fuelled by a big-ass bass growl from Diltz that runs throughout the EP (in particular, the monstrous ‘Headless Valley’) and some sublime drum work from Ryan ‘Junior’ Kittlitz, ‘Within The Hollow Earth’ is all killer and zero filler. In a time where many bands bludgeon their fans with a thirteen or fourteen-track, fifty-minute monster, All Hail The Yeti instead opt to keep it lean and get in, slap the listener about the face, and get back out before they realize what has just happened.
Pick up a copy of ‘Within The Hollow Earth’, here.
Review – Dave
Photo credit – Brian Cox