This doom trio hails from Maryland, but rather than worshipping at the church of Wino or the altar of Pentagram, their sound is more akin to muddy “stoner doom” a la Sleep or the Georgia sludge of Zoroaster. Yatra‘s debut album on Grimoire Records features 8 tracks clocking in just shy of 45 minutes.
“Hour of the Dragon” kicks things off with a swirling, ringing effect that sorta sounds like a sitar, paired with a riff straight from the Matt Pike playbook. Once this five-minute number kicks into high gear, it delivers a steady, head-nodding, pace, with vocals that sound more than a little like Cisneros, but with a bit more grit. “Black Moon” offers up another sitar-heavy intro, although this one takes a little longer to get going, at a shade under seven minutes. Once again, though, the riffs are heavy on the fuzz, but the vocals are grittier, along the lines of Zoroaster or even Weedeater. Still makes for some solid stoner doom.
“Sacred Flower” combines a hazy Cathedral riff with a bilious Dopethrone vocal, before the meandering “Snakes in the Temple” leads into another similarly-sounding Sleep/High on Fire (on the slow side) hybrid in “Smoke is Rising,” albeit with a more powerful chorus than its predecessor. They’re not breaking much new ground here, but Death Ritual certainly has its share of enjoyable moments.