YOB – Clearing The Path to Ascend (2014)


As one of the most expected releases of 2014, YOB’s “Clearing the Path to Ascend” instantly explodes in the listener’s ears with endless waves of crushing guitar riffs and demolishing drumming… and this is just in the first track. Oregon’s trio delivers what is most likely the most relentless Doom releases of 2014 and they do so with four tracks and around 61 minutes of pure fucking brilliance.

Slowly opening the door, “Unmask the Spectre” nicely builds up until a vicious onslaught of pummeling guitar riffs and Mike Scheidt’s monstrous growls. This track weaves back and forth between melodic rifftastic passages and crushing vocals. For a 15-minute track, this track goes down very smoothly and with a heavy dosage of headbanging. Arriving in Neurosis-like Post-Metal/Hardcore territory, “Nothing to Win” changes the formula a bit with a combination of screamed and growled sections achieving a duet-like atmosphere that is quite nerve-racking.

Continuing with the odd retro-sounding “In Our Blood”, Mike’s vocals bend again to give you a weird psychedelic experience. With perfectly layered guitars and tight drumming, this track is one moody bastard that refuses to give in weaving from atmospheric passages into commanding riffing onslaughts. Our absolute favorite is the epic “Marrow”, a song that is extremely atmosphere and nicely builds up during its dramatic nearly 19-minute run. The distant atmospheric keyboards really do wonders for such an emotional and punishing track.

Only getting better with age, YOB delivers a landmark release in terms of Doom Metal, there are tons of other influences spliced into the music, but their core remains true and pure. If you are a big fan of the power of the riffs and appreciate the musicianship behind this kind of guitar playing (versus the shredding virtuosos) Mike Scheidt and company will surely blow you away with “Clearing the Path to Ascend”.

Band: YOB Album: Clearing The Path to Ascend

Label: Neurot Recordings

Release: September 2nd, 2014

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Genre: Sludge / Doom Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 95/100

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