By Matty Hume
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan with DRI HIEV and Ghostkeeper
The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club
April 6, 2018
CALGARY — On March 23 ears were gifted with the official release of the third full-length LP from Canada’s premiere experimental rock band, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. Having said that, “experimental” is certainly too simplistic a descriptor for the band’s sound, which exists somewhere between the worlds of anime soundtrack epics, noh-wave psychedelia and power-metal operas. The melange known as Dirt (Paper Bag Records) follows two albums from YT // ST that both secured positions on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist for their creative genius, and this latest offering is no exception.
The Palomino has a celebrated ability to pair local talent with the best from beyond the city’s limits and this evening was no exception. DRI HIEV and Ghostkeeper did an admirable job of setting the tone prior to the headliner’s grand barrage. DRI HIEV incited a heavy-as-lead dance party through industrial noise and beats. Likewise, Ghostkeeper had the whole room swaying their hips and headbang in unison with speed-varied licks.
This live performance was undoubtedly a treat for those who have consumed YT // ST’s Dirt in all its celestial glory as the ensemble moved through the majority of the album in chronological order. Joint vocalists, Ange Loft and Joanna Delos Reyes, captivated the crowd with their awe-inspiring range. The powerful Alaska B drove the metal epic forward with full control of the drum kit; Brendan Swanson delivered synth-solos from the stars while dystopian warriors, Brandon Lim and Hiroki Tanaka, passionately shredded away on their electric strings.
By the end of the night, it took genuine effort to realize you were still in downtown Calgary’s most rockin’ basement, and not fighting the good fight in an astral apocalypse. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is welcome to transport Calgary to another dimension any time.DRI HIEV, Sonic Titan, The Palomino, Yamantaka