Countess Elizabeth Bathory has been the muse of many a black-metal band, from Venom onwards, but this is the first time I’ve seen her name attached to a doom-metal record. Mind you, L.A. outfit Yidhra are no strangers to the occult; they’re named after the dream witch in H.P. Lovecraft lore.
This four-song, 10” EP starts off with the title track, which shows some signs of Sleep right from the get-go with its downtuned stoner doom. Vocals are more guttural, with the kind of deep-throated southern drawl often heard in Georgia doom, or a band like Borracho from D.C. And they namedrop the song’s inspiration no less than three times in the chorus.
“Iron Mountain” is more of an epic instrumental, despite its similarly downtuned song structure. I’d liken this one to something off Black Pyramid’s second album (which I didn’t like quite as much as their first), with maybe a dash of OM on the side. “The Adversary” brings us back to more traditional doom territory, with a minimalist verse somewhat akin to Saint Vitus. They even bring in some (relatively) clean vocals on the verses, although these are interspersed with more guttural growls.
Closing track “Reign of Terror” is a little more uptempo, albeit by doom standards, coming off as a half-decent ode to Pale Divine. I can dig most of this, but again, the constipated yarls on the chorus kinda kill it for me. That last sentence pretty much describes this EP in a nutshell, as well.