Reviews for Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend:
User Reviews:

Your Review:

There are no words that can truly describe how astounding this album is, but let's get the generic stuff out of the way first.

This is a doom metal record, with slow plodding drums and raw but definitive guitars, their sound sufficiently heavy for the genre and a soaring vocal work that occasionally encroaches growling but never quite makes it past the threshold.

Now for the details: four songs, varying in length between 11 and 18 minutes. With that in mind, this album is a grower, it takes many listening-throughs to fully comprehend. This is something you can't listen to while working or running, it's not background music where you fish out the better pieces as they come and leave the rest to obscurity. No, this record demands your full attention, every second of its ~60 minutes running length.

Composition: No simple rhythms, no easy melodies, it's difficult to digest and depressing with its atmosphere of hopelessness and despair. It's exhausting and debilitating as you plunge further into the music, yet tightening its grip on your balls every few steps to keep you focused.
Complex sound structure, frequent pauses and a defined slowness that commands attention, all work to force the listener to swallow every piece one by one.

The first three songs take you on an uncertain journey through sorrow-filled soundscapes with the heavy guitars constantly battering at you, harsh vocals that border death growls maintain the feeling of torment. Occasional monotony and lulls in the pacing serve to strengthen that effect until the assail resumes even fiercer than before.

The cooperation between drums and guitars is stunning; every riff and every blast work in unison, they strengthen each other and fill in all the right spots in the scope of the entire album. The slow parts have a certain wondering ambience to them, a pondering depth where the barely accentuated guitars maintain a consistent tension and apprehension. There are solos here and shorter motifs, all of which continue the unabated assault on your sense of well-being. They build the overwhelming atmosphere and just when you feel on the edge of bursting, the solo picks up, changes the pitch and takes you further for a few seconds before dwindling down to another cool, ambient section. YOB's pacing of intensity is exquisite here, they control every aspect of their music, without letting the listeners be unsensitized by too much heaviness yet not allowing them any room to breath either.

This is an emotional record. I had the impression that the first three songs were a consistent, integral section but only after listening to the final, majestic fourth track, I arrived at the conclusion they were actually a buildup. They took you through the semi-conscious world of dream-like sadness and despair, they hit you with all the tools that doom metal has at its disposal and left you wounded and crippled when the final track, Marrow, arrives.

Once your shredded, vulnerable mind is fragmented and broken, you can really ascend to untold heights again - that's what the closing track does. It facilitates a rebuilding of self, a reclamation of lost pieces without the undesired bits.

It takes the best parts of the preceding songs and adds to them another ingredient - cleansing. It's like all that accumulated negativity spills out in its overflow and is released through the slow buildup and eventually beautiful melody, that serves to support the soaring vocals. He did a good job on the first three songs but Marrow is where he really shows what he can do.

But oh man, can this guy sing... he does so in such a gut-wrenching fashion, such soul-shaking strength and unchallenged intensity that it left me with tears rolling down my cheeks, something that almost never happens.
His wailing, clean vocals work with the wonderful melodies and an ever-ascending song structure, culminating after the slow section of Marrow. Around the 11 minute mark, the slow section that starts is the tipping point. With that, all the pain, sorrow, negativity and torment that boiled up to overbursting, all that accumulated pain and hopelessness was suddenly released in an act of instrumentally-induced catharsis. It's incredible what this music did to me; it touched me in ways I have not experienced before, it tickled the exact right spots in my musical sense and eventually became an intense, intimate experience where I discovered new reactions to music that I have not felt in twenty years. I wish everybody could experience this the way I did.

It left me reeling after the final few minutes went by and I could not listen to anything for a good couple of hours, that's how exhausting an encounter this was.

After this, I will look differently at all the music that claims to be depressing and/or cleansing. This album should redefine what doom metal is. No, scratch that, it did redefine it, at least for me.

Favorite songs: All, but especially Marrow.


Review by: Enclave

Use the textarea below to write your review of this album.
Please obey to these rules:
- Write the review in ENGLISH!
- Do not ask or offer mp3's
- Reviews of 5 words or less are no reviews
- Do not flame other reviewers. Use the forum for that

If you do not follow these rules your review will NOT be added.


(To get a username and password you have to register.)

Back to band page