Tuesday, 6 January 2015

YOB "Clearing The Path To Ascend" (2014)

I was sent the song "Marrow" by a friend, I was thrilled by this lengthy, brooding, melodic and doom like epic that moves at a snails pace, dragging the listener through 19 minutes of heavy, sludging colorful bliss. I was excited, and got hold of this record immediately, but much to my disappointment the rest of the record, despite following similar principles, was a lot more doom and less melodic for what made Marrow shine. Although not strictly my cup of tea, this record was a decent listen that demonstrated some fantastic musicianship through unique suspense and progression. YOB are a Doom Metal group from Oregon USA, who are receiving a lot of praise for this album which has topped several Metal album of the year lists.

Whats most characteristic of their music is the slow drawn out riffage that utilizes the space between each bellowing strum, creating a monstrous stride that parades to its own cause. These riffs pound and bludgeon there way through sections that last several minutes and are spiced up by off kilt repeats and suspenseful returns. Between the guitar bludgeoning come quieter moments that are quite brittle and abrupt, with the growing mood often building to a moment that simply drops of into a lull. In the climatic moments the band stick to their riffs and accommodate the building atmosphere with additional guitar leads and demonic guttural vocals.

The record is crisp, indulgent, the textural guitar tones and foreshadowing drums mold a dynamic, expressive sound that compliments the musicianship. The clean guitars have a dreary melancholy about them, retaining a colorful melody yet expressing a cold and sorrowful tone that gives Marrow an emotional and moving climax. Its a great sound that works so well with the songs, yet for everything great about this record, for me personally the meandering nature of these songs can fail to hold my attention at times and despite being a terrific record, its one that doesn't quite hit the niche with me.

Favorite Track: Marrow
Rating: 6/10