Yurei is the super progressive metal project created by Gabriel Castro. If you love a hefty dose of jazz and fusion with your metal, Yurei is definitely for you! No vocals – completely instrumental – and great to listen to.
What really jumps out, as a metal fan, is the guitar. Incredibly fast, extremely technical, but at the same time soulful. Lots of latin influence in some of the leads and rhythms. In fact, songs like “Risen” seemed to whisk me away to Southern Florida and the Caribbean, evoking lush beaches and calm waters. Think of it as a soundtrack. While I’m driving on the dull Pennsylvania Turnpike, I can at least imagine that I’m somewhere much warmer as I have Saudade pumping out some southern hemisphere heat. In a sense, think of Yurei as the polar opposite of Norwegian black metal. While black metal is about cold, northern winters, Yurei is much more centered on sharply contrasting climates. And instead of dirty, lo-fi sonics with black metal, you get crystal clear, highly technical songs where every instrument can be heard perfectly in the mix.
Tracks like “Insomnium IV. Saudade” are dreamy, jazzy and atmospheric… but with some really novel drumming. In fact, I love the drum tracks here and they mesh so well with the guitars. Also be sure to check out the drums and the bass on songs like “Dark Matter.” Just so much thought into these compositions.
As I reflect on listening to the end of the record, I can’t help but think that we what we have here is a heavy metal version of Jan Hammer. Hammer, of course, was the master behind the music of landmark Miami Vice television series of the 1980’s. Castro demonstrates that same level of talent and musicianship.
If you are a fan of instrumental prog and/or a sometimes prefer a side order of jazzy delight with your metal, Yurei is for you!