CD review YOB ‘Our Raw Heart’

(8/10) Oregon-based YOB releases with ‘Our Raw Heart’ their new album; number four after their return in 2008. The band originally started in 1996 and can look back on a longer history in doom metal.

YOB, that’s very much Mike Scheidt, being the only remaining founding member of the band. He is supported by Travis Forster on drums and Aaron Rieseberg (b) and  it’s enormous what kind of musical density this trio produces.

The new album features seven songs and as usual, each of them is a long marathon of doom metal that gets spiced-up by some sludge elements. Oregon’s riffmasters aren’t a full-speed-ahead band. YOB creates an atmospheric slo-mo sound and it’s songs like ‘The Screen’ that unveils quite some of YOB trademarks in perfection. Almost endless instrumental passages are built on a solid riff. Repetition is one tool YOB uses quite often, leading to a kind of fascinating hypnosis that never gets boring.

The following track,  ‘Lung Reach’, shows another aspect of ‘Our Raw Heart’. The first half of this five minutes track is kept calm and atmospheric. Gloomy soundscapes unveils their dark beauty before the tune evolves to a harsh doom song with a heavily downtuned riff and harsh vocals by Scheidt.

Last but not least the album comprises of songs like ‘Beauty in Falling Leaves’ when the band sticks to their principles but adds more melody to the mix, strengthened by clean vocals. It’s a psychedelic vibe that comes with these kind of songs and it shows the width of sounds, all being based on slow pace and riff intensity.

‘Our Raw Heart’ combines atmospheric sounds, intensity and sensitivity. This album is another dark and beautiful journey through sounds that feel more like a melancholic jam session rather than completely written and finalised songs. It’s this expression of creative freedom that is special and makes ‘Our Raw Heart’ to a one of the highlights in 2018.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ablaze
  2. The Screen
  3. In Reverie
  4. Lungs Reach
  5. Beauty in Falling Leaves
  6. Original Face
  7. Our Raw Heart

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: June 8th, 2018

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