The prowess of heavy lore specialists All Hail the Yeti is showcased at full strength on the band's latest EP release, Within the Hollow Earth. As has been the common theme for musicians over the last two years, the climate of an uncertain world in the wake of a global pandemic has slowed the pace of just about everyone, but AHTY have resurfaced in a way that suggests they have not missed a step - capturing the same momentum the collective charged forward with during their 2018 run with well-received Highway Crosses LP.
A captivating mesh of ominous narrative combined with raucous ritual, the band straddle a sound that incorporates elements of sludge and groove metal to create an assault that wields a heavy sword. Tapping into the 70's era of album-oriented rock, each offering from All Hail the Yeti translates as a marathon of heft, creating an immersive listening experience that resonates in a way that sticks rather than skips.
Anchored by the vocal command of frontman Connor Garritty and the fretwork of Dave Vanderlinde, AHTY's brand is aligned with the groove of outfits like Corrosion of Conformity and the weighty murk of trailblazers like DOWN. Given their premium pedigree, the band's level of creative consistency makes for releases aren't forced to rely on the strength of a single.
Furthering their affinity for metallic mysticism, the extended hibernation in the output from All Hail the Yeti has seemingly stirred the sleeping giant to resurface stronger and more focused than ever. The 7-track effort in Within The Hollow Earth assembles a collection of cuts that not only deliver a dynamic presentation of songwriting, but the kind of substance that toes a fine line between classic and modern.
Currently on tour with Jinjer and Suicide Silence, the AHTY collective penned a track-by-track summary of Within the Hollow Earth to better illuminate the headspace the band was in during the development process. To further get inside the head of metal music's shaman, read on.
BURY YOUR MEMORY
The music for Bury was written first, with Connor and Nick’s vocals layered on top. The verses have a tribal-sounding vocal cadence, invoking early Sepultura and Slipknot. Lyrically, we drew from pagan themes, witchcraft, mystical intoxication, and the all-encompassing power of Mother Earth to make the song feel almost supernatural.
Garritty - Like other classic Yeti songs, the lyrics from Headless reference traditional folklore and cryptozoology. It’s loosely based on the story of eight-foot tall cannibalistic warriors called the Nakani, who would protect their territory with extreme violence.
Once we wrote the “restless, headless” chorus, we felt the song had the right mix of heaviness and melody. Producer Steve Evetts developed the vocal style on the verses to be more sing-scream, which makes the lyrics clear and understandable.
Garritty- Instead of being a predictable break-up song, the lyrics to Funeral Heart compare the end of a relationship to an actual funeral; saying your final goodbyes and burying the past.
The bridge section was the last part to be added. Since most of the song was punchy and syncopated, we decided to draw from classic Pantera break-downs for the bridge, layering long vocal screams over thick, sustained guitars.
We decided to take a thrashier approach to one of the compositions on this record. Nidavelir is one of the few Yeti songs in a standard tuning, which gives it a unique sound compared to the others. With most of the song finished, we just needed a bridge section. After rehearsal one afternoon, Dave went back to his home studio and wrote the remaining lyrics and riffs to make it complete. It taught us how well we could work together as co-writers.
Cold Dead Leaves is full of classic Yeti-style riffage! The guitars and double-bass drum parts take the spotlight on this one. It also has a guitar solo, which is historically rare for the band. There are more solos on Within than on all three previous Yeti albums combined. Lyrically, the song talks about putting a past relationship into the ground, like hiding something that’s never to be seen again.
This song started as part of Dave’s audition process; his first attempt at writing Yeti material. It wasn’t originally intended to be on the album, but Steve Evetts asked to hear some more of our demos one day and he suggested adding it to the record. We decided that Connor’s vocal style would pair best with the aggressive-style riffs. Most of our songs trade off between Nick’s clean vocals and Connor’s screams, but this song breaks that mold for the better.
The lyrics from Cry of the Waheela are the centerpiece for this tune; it’s all about classic Yeti storytelling. To achieve this, we referred to one of our favorite books about North-American cryptozoology, which we consider our “bible”.
With the melodies already written during pre-production, we spent time in the studio refining the lyrics to create a memorable story that even the most discerning Yeti fan would enjoy.
Within the Hollow Earth from All Hail the Yeti is currently available via Minus Head Records - HERE