YLVA: Patient, dark and mysterious

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YLVA: Patient, dark and mysterious

Drawing influences from a deep well of experience – including but not limited to High Tension, Agonhymn, Horsell Common, and more – Melbourne’s YLVA (pronounced ‘Ill-vAH’, Nordic for she-wolf) create patient, dark, and mysterious pieces of heavy music punctuated with crushing riffs at extreme volumes.
The band’s debut album META showcases not a single wasted note or vocal line – with their incredibly deep and purposeful post-metal sound, they no doubt appeal to fans of Neurosis, Cult of Luna, and anyone who enjoys dense, heavy, low tuned, gut-churning and absolute gut-wrenching music.
An album that guarantees to shake you to your core, guitarist and vocalist Dav Byrne is stoked with the response since the albums release back in November last year.
“We’ve been really, really impressed with the response that we’ve got from everyone out there, we’re just trying to not let it get to our heads,” Byrne laughs. “It seems to be music that people want to listen to and it’s something that people have told me they’ve been waiting for; something to come out of Australia with this sort of impact and this sort of vibe so we’re really proud of delivering what we have, and we’re stoked with it,” he says before continuing.
“It felt like it was moving a little bit slow, but we feel that we’ve made some good decisions on timing as far as recording, recording the right material, ditching an hours’ worth of music and starting again from scratch, and then recording it properly – just taking our time and spending our money in a judicious fashion, saving money where we can. Considering two of us in the band are professional audio engineers, we felt like we weren’t cutting corners, we were just trying to do things in a smart way.”
YLVA’s debut album certainly focusses on varying volumes and on the darker shades within the spectrum, and these volumes and shades add to the album’s progressive parts, and strengthens the massive wall of sound it offers whilst maintaining its grim atmosphere. With dissident chords, dark interlude and monolithic all-consuming guitar sounds, the debut effort from YLVA contains a sound Byrne expresses draws on his past musical endeavours with such bands as Agonhymn, Cement Pig, Clagg and Plasmodium Vivax.
“While we are trying to do something new and interesting and different, you’re sort of forced to borrow, whether it’s techniques or certain sounds, for people to grab a hold of something familiar,” he says, “For me as one of the guitarists and singers, obviously I’m going to scream. Obviously, I’m going to be using distortion. I’m personally a big fan of tremolo picking [picking a note fast and repeatedly to give the impression of a single, sustained note with a “trembling” feel to it] so that’s where the black metal comes into it. I love the sound, the coldness, the bleakness; I’m always going to be using those tricks.”
With an album launch at The Tote late last year and an unmistakably physical quality to YLVA’s craft, it’s the live show that has the band working hard, with plans to share their already revered live show through Australia, Europe and the United States.
“We’re trying not to just come out and do the same old thing; all of us in the band have been playing in bands for 15-20 years each so we knew what we didn’t want to do so it’s been pretty calculated with how we have presented our live show and the order in which we have done everything,” Byrne reveals.
“We’re not trying to do something that we don’t enjoy, we absolutely love what we do and as far as we are concerned, if other people are into it that’s a bonus for us because we’ve been in the underground so long that it doesn’t really bother us to not be in the charts or anything like that, it’s more of a cathartic experience, it’s almost like exercise,” Byrne reveals before continuing, “Our rehearsals every week we just call best friends club because it’s more of a friendship and we’re creating this art that we love and it’s something that we really enjoy doing.”
Release: META is out now via Pelagic Records