Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend

by Andy Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-01

The signs were there from the beginning. Four tracks stretched out over an hour and a reputation for making brutally heavy, DOOM metal (yes, I’m contractually obliged to write that in capitols). Clearing the Path to Ascend wasn’t going to be the kind of album to soundtrack a jovial montage on The One Show.

The album opens with a calm voice whispering in our ears, “Time to wake up”. After a slow, quietly tense introduction, ‘In Our Blood’ blooms into a bludgeoning Goliath of sound; guitars drenched in heavy static and riff-laden noise.

The commanding vocals are perhaps one of the most notable aspects in Yob’s oeuvre. On my first few listens, I became convinced these melodic, soaring vocals must belong to a female vocalist. It seems, however, that the vocals belong to founding member, Mike Scheidt. Scheidt’s vocals are unbelievably versatile, ranging from the melodic range that starts this opening epic to the guttural howls that appear moments later. It can’t be great for his throat, but it sounds fantastic.   

We’re not given any time to recover from the opening blast, as ‘Nothing to Win’ continues to batter down the doors of perception with its psychedelic, doom-laden sonic assault. Travis Foster’s drums pick up the pace as Scheidt’s guitar blazes a blackened trail of cosmic ferocity over the track's relentless, black-metal influenced 11-minute duration. There’s something unspeakably dark but irresistibly powerful here.

The quest continues into third piece ‘Unmask the Spectre’, tense drones, creepy whispers and spectral guitars giving way to incredibly weighty landslides of sound. If the previous three tracks weren’t quite epic enough for you, the album closes with the nearly 19-minute-long ‘Marrow’.

Perhaps even more so than the other tracks, ‘Marrow’ really shows the band's impressive breadth of sound. Unexpectedly beautiful passages slide gracefully into open, desert plains of psychedelic blues. A mesmerising, slow-burning rock epic, ‘Marrow’ certainly moves Yob out of the sometimes restrictive sphere of doom. Scheidt’s chameleon-like voice proving he can do wounded wail just as well as his chain-smoking Satan impression.  

Yob isn’t just making noise for the sake of it. There seems to be a desire for some kind of sonic transcendence, a musical nirvana that can only be reached through lashings of excessive volume and riffs. You've been under a spell dear reader, it's time to wake up.  

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