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Review: Yoth Iria - As the Flame Withers
Yoth Iria
As the Flame Withers

Label: Pagan Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 47:01
Tracks: 8
Genre: Unclassifiable


Review online: February 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.71/5 (94.29%) (14 Votes)

Yoth Iria impressed the hell out of me with their EP Under His Sway last year, so I was anticipating this album quite a bit. Here we had a band made up of seasoned professionals of the Greek Black Metal scene (Jim Mutilator and Wampyr Daoloth as "The Magus") proving they not only still had it, but could still make music that was surprising and innovative. Now we have their full-length debut, As the Flame Withers, an album that has fulfilled all the promise they displayed on the EP and exceeded my already high expectations in the process.

I was comfortable calling them Black Metal on the EP, but I find that fails to encapsulate what they're doing here. It's still an integral part of their sound, but they now include numerous additional influences ranging from Trad to Doom to even Epic and Viking Metal. In fact, later-era Bathory is a good comparison for the more epic tunes like "Hermetic Code" and "The Mantis", which manage to sound as bombastic as they do eerie and unsettling. They do remember to bring in some grim, ferocious Black Metal fury into all of this, as they do on the advance single "The Red Crown Turns Black", which still mixes in Doom and Trad with some killer riffs and bizarre melodies, but they also get even darker and stranger with the hypnotic crawl of "Unborn, Undead, Eternal", the similar yet more aggressive and somber "Tyrants", and the ominous album closer "The Luciferian". No matter the song, you can guarantee that it will be a singular journey that takes you through provocative moods and limitless creativity that defies basic conventions.

Fearless, iconoclastic, and entirely unique, As the Flame Withers will be finding itself a place on many Best of 2021 lists, and it'll deserve every single one. In fact, I'll go ahead and say that this will go down in Metal history as an important release that signaled the continued relevance of some of the Greek scene's most important players, and I doubt I'll be proven wrong. Ingenious.

More about Yoth Iria...
Review: Under His Sway (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with bassist Jim Mutilator on May 5, 2020 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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