9 October 2014

YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Earlier in the year, I reviewed a project by a Supergroup called Lumbar for their album 'The First And Last Day Of Unwelcome' (cleverly linked here), which featured amongst its member Mike Scheidt from YOB.  Originally formed in 1996 and originally ran until 2006 (where there was a small break due to some of two thirds of the line-up leaving, and Scheidt desire to work under a new name of Middian - that is a long story in itself), only to reform in 2008 and perform a series of tours that have been generally well received.  This album here which is their seventh in total is their first on the label called Neurot Recordings (home of Neurosis, Lotus Eaters and many others), it seems to be a perfect home for their style of doom metal.  Due to my interest in Lumbar (a project that will hopefully be revisited one day if health and the planets allow it), it was always my intentions to find out more about the members other acts.  So, I was pleased to hear about this album coming out; now it is time to see what this band is all about....

With this album only being four tracks long, you might expected it to quite short; well it might be in words, but this is not the case at all with the album itself - the album clocks in with one hour two minutes worth of noise.  Starting this record is "In Our Blood", the strummings' of Mr Scheidt guides the listener along until around a minute and a half when he is joined by Messrs Foster & Rieseberg in creating an unholy noise that is would make the pillars of heaven shake and the basement of hell fill up with the tears of the damned weeping with joy.  It is a monstrous noise that comes out of the speakers and loops on for the listener to become immersed into and to drift from this world towards their own mind.  For just over quarter of an hour you are enslaved to the riff, to the song and to the band.  From this track along, you know this is not for casual fans of this type of music; you have to have a degree of patients and awareness to follow the trail.  Even when it reverts back to the beginning section of the song, it does not feel like a step backwards, more of an anchoring point.  "Nothing To Win" starts off with all guns firing, the drumming from Mr Foster is brilliantly mixed in with the bass and riff Messrs Rieseberg and Scheidt is just gigantic.  This has a brilliant vibe about it; it reminds me of Shrinebuilder in delivery; just massive riffs and a feeling of righteous anger, betrayal and fury with the creator of this sphere.  It is a ball of spite and noise that brings the first half if this album to a dramatic and amazing closure.

The start of the second side is "Unmask The Spectre" which building on a mysterious and spooky riff and vocal arrangement that will be followed by another set of riffs that makes the listener lose themselves again, but not in the same way the "In Our Blood" did.  There is a short stretch of riffs, not as long as those of the first two numbers of the album, the riffs and solo of this track are equal to anything on the album and it does have some fantastic moments that make this an incredible interesting number.  Ending the album is the longest track of the album - the titian called "Marrow".  It is all build on this track, slow, merciless build, dragging us towards the end, whether we like it or not; the storm that comes along with song feels like an ocean crashing down onto your head; it is suffocating and claustrophobic, without compassion or remorse - in short it is beautiful to behold, this is a wonderful ending to the album.

Before reviewing this album I stayed away from other reviews, I did not want to be influenced before I heard a note of the album; but after listening to it, I have given a quick glance to the other reviews and have found them to be more or less on the same wavelength as me - this is quite possible the Doom release of the year.  It may be short in the number of tracks, but not in weight or power.  This is one of the most impressive releases I have heard in 2014 and it is making the end of year’s poll just that little bit harder to complete for yours truly here.  I used the word titian to describe one of the tracks earlier; it is a word that can be used to describe the full album if I am honest. 

9.5 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost.....

Top track - Nothing To Win

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the YOB website here

You can also keep up to date with YOB via their Facebook page

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is a link for our Deezer users

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