YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend (Black vinyl)


Everyone should be familiar with this trio's music, there is absolutely no excuse for any doom metal fan not to know YOB and their extensive catalog of relentless releases of crushing doom. But since this is a review I will try my best to describe their sound to those unfamiliar. First off the guitar tone and its sound are like nothing else, I won't even try to compare Mike Scheidt's guitar sound, but it's everything that is heavy. His use of the delay is flawless and he always manages to come up with the most eerie melodies you can imagine. His riffing abilities are out of this world,even gallops that require a lot of stamina aren't a problem (listen to the song Atma). He uses growls, but he also sings and he is quite amazing at it. High pitched harmonies that can send chills down your back and make the hair stand on your neck. The rhythm section adds so much to his colossal wall of doom. Aaron's bass tone is so crushingly heavy while being nice and round, I in fact don't think he uses distortion at all, but I may be wrong. Travis' skins look like they are going to tear off when I watch him play, his drum set is completely clear (see through), and the vibration emanating from it make the listeners feel like they're being trampled by a herd of mammoths! It's outstanding how three guys can manage to deliver such full, powerful and perfectly written songs that range from 6 to 20 minutes, most of which are above the 10 minute mark.

Clearing The Path To Ascend is the band's follow up to their 2011 release entitled Atma, it is their 7th full-length album and like all previous work, it is nothing short of perfect for this genre. They are described as a stoner/doom band, and I can see their music appealing to stoners across the globe, but I just think they distinguish themselves from any other doom bands and the label is a bit misleading. However, I can't find any better way to categorize them. People should really listen to them and find out for themselves, and this album is an excellent example. This isn't your typical stoner/doom band. When I think of stoner doom I think of Sleep and Electric Wizard, some younger bands like Windhand or Red Fang. While those examples are different in their own way, YOB sounds nothing like them. You should really just give this a spin.

Finally, Mike Scheidt himself has admitted that the final track on this, Marrow, is the best song he has ever written in his life. That is such a huge statement coming from the guy behind one of the most unique and consistent bands of this genre. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy when you get a chance. This isn't just a fan boy praising his favorite band, if you regret buying this album you can contact me and we can figure something out.