While some bands try to inject their music with a sense of dramatic grandeur without ever succeeding, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are able to leave entire rock operas (with costumes and everything) unrecorded and still have enough juice left over to create a genre-spanning album without missing a beat. Uzu, the follow-up to the band's brilliant debut, 2011's YT//ST, finds the Canadian duo building upon that wildly ambitious foundation with an album that feels more theatrical and propulsive. The album still has all the creative detours and cul de sacs of their previous work, but here the listener is always being pushed forward, moving briskly from track to track in an experience that feels almost cinematic. With an album like Uzu, though, it's more about the experience of taking in the album as a whole than any individual track, so it's understandable that the band doesn't want to let people linger in one place while there's still so much more for them to experience. Although Yamantaka // Sonic Titan set an awfully high bar for themselves with their debut, they somehow manage to one-up themselves with their follow-up, with an ease that makes the prospect of more material almost as exciting as their extant work.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney