Here’s the scene: It’s a few weeks ago and my buddy Jasper and I are doing that Santa Fe dance wherein people find themselves driving aimlessly around town bummed on the musical options’ insistence on being the same damn things as always in addition to the outrageous cold. ‘Twas wack for the better part of an hour until we heard about this big ol’ metal show going down at The Dave Cave, a warehouse space/domicile located off of Siler and famous not only for its killer ability to draw fairly large-name touring bands, but the bitchin’ half-pipe that sits in the backyard just begging to be shredded. Granted, we haven’t been what you’d call “metal dudes” in some time (were we ever?), but the promise of anything outside of another fucking DJ coupled with Jasper’s legendary love of beer (we heard there’d be a keg) meant one thing—we were going.
And it's a good thing we did, because now I know Yar; thank Satan! The five-piece band comprised of members from other notable Santa Fe metal acts such as Obelisk, Torn Between Worlds, Black Horizon Plague and others wound up being a whole hell of a lot cooler than we could have imagined. With their thrashy, almost punk rock take on the concepts of black and death metal(s), Yar proves to be a brutal and worthy addition to a surprisingly booming local metal scene. In just seven or so short months, they've played everywhere from Skylight, The Dave Cave and The Underground to venues in Taos and Albuquerque. This is music that is fast and heavy, and for every moment that owes allegiance to the last 10 years of metal, there's an equally slaying breakdown or progression with one foot firmly planted in the hugename metal bands of yesteryear.
In just one set, visions of bands like Cryptic Slaughter or Ratos de Parão danced in my head alongside thoughts of Exodus or At the Gates. It's a sort of a mini-tour of the highlights of metal as played by dudes who clearly have not only a deep respect for the genres and sub-genres, but also a knack for innovation. It's in the way the members collaborate during the writing process to produce bits and pieces that interlock into something special—not to mention wholly unlike just about every other Santa Fe metal band in history, not counting the glorious Logical Nonsense, who still owns you, by the way—and it is for these reasons and more that Yar simply must be on your radar.
"This is the first band I've played with that I actually feel really good about," singer Dave Ahern-Seronde says. "We've just been about playing shows when we can, but also recording and hopefully having merch soon."
The recording comes in the form of Yar's selftitled three-song EP (streaming/downloadable for free here), a facemelting 15 minutes that solidifies their rep as one of the best new bands to come out of Santa Fe since forever. Expertly recorded by Carrion Kind's Augustine Ortiz, Yar is a must for any fan of heavy music. And if that weren't enough, you can thank Ahern-Seronde and drummer David McMaster for their tireless work within the underground house show community.
Their venue, the aforementioned Dave Cave, has been a strong addition to the local musical landscape as well as a perfectly safe spot in which to party.
"We were always going to house shows when we were younger and the energy was always the strongest," McMaster tells SFR. "It draws a certain crowd and a certain vibe, and as much as we're in it for ourselves, everybody else having a great time comes along with that."
Yar's next show is an opening slot for legendary California metal band Cattle Decapitation on Jan. 10. Presented by Kronos Creative, it's sure to be the metal show of the year, which is saying a lot considering it's the first of 2015. In the meantime, get online and check them out…you won't be sorry.
CATTLE DECAPITATION W/YAR, CARRION
KIND, FIELDS OF ELYSIUM AND MORE
6:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 10. $12-$18
All ages. Locker Room Sports Bar & Grill
2841 Cerrillos Road