By all accounts, Death Ritual, the debut album from Maryland doom purveyors Yatra, came together quickly. Following the demise of Maryland doom act Blood Raven, frontman Dana Helmuth formed Yatra, where he wrote all eight songs for their debut album over the course of a month. Pulling their vocal style from black metal, Yatra offer a harsher, colder take on fuzzed-out doom than Blood Raven did, dragging the listener through slooow riffs and demonic growls.
“Snakes in the Temple,” the fourth song on Death Ritual, is an excellent introduction to the band. Slow, almost droning, chords give way to a riff-laden wall of sound and glacially slow drumming that is joined eventually by Helmuth’s agonizing vocals and a clear bassline.
“‘Snakes in the Temple’ is about death and mortality and the evil dogmas of Christianity,” Yatra tell Decibel. “‘Snakes inside the temple, consuming all mortals down’ explains that concept pretty well, in the sense of priests inside temples acting like they are immortal, and from the first person perspective of a vampire in the sense of ‘by the coming of the mornings light, my eyes are burning, I can see the rising of the shadows, from the edge of darkness, the end of a lifetime.’”
Hear “Snakes in the Temple” below and snag a pre-order via Grimoire Records.