Rating:
8.1
Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend
1 September 2014


01. In Our Blood
02. Nothing To Win
03. Unmask The Spectre
04. Marrow


Ah yes, stoner/doom metal. Heavy and crushing, filthy and provocative. Not my favorite brand of vodka but when I want to lather my musical palate with some that's artistically and professionally done, I look no further than Eugene, Oregon's Yob. They have been a staple in the genre for over a decade now and not only have they delivered a fine effort with Clearing The Path To Ascend, they have escalated past their last critically acclaimed album, Atma.

I am always a sucker for lengthy, epic, monumental songs and Clearing The Path To Ascend dishes out its punishment in the form of 4 tracks totalling 60 minutes of music - just huge. The entire opus bases its sound on two principles: First, slower tempos arranged around down-tuned guitar tones that create a thick and dense sonic aura. Secondly, tactically placed ethereal and absorbing moments of audio gratification that are proximal to monolithic riffs and drums pounding away with slow, mammoth patterns. These two propositions complement each other effortlessly, combining to create one gigantic, resolute but satisfying outlook.

The "improvements" over their last record, Atma are substantial. The biggest change is the addition of more atmosphere and progression in the themes of the songs. Aside from the direct and simple riffage, there's a focus on structure and dynamics that can kick the music into overdrive before lulling the listener back into a state of auditory numbness, and dare I say there is a bit of melody contrived in these notes. Also, the production is a bit more smooth, and not so much the smoky and hazy firmaments that engulf most of stoner/doom music. It's a pleasant change, the fact that Yob did not suffocate their songs with a lumbering mass of blunt distortion. Finally, the vocals are still low in the mix but are more than just growled or screamed. Engaging, coherent, clean singing that's somewhat manipulated are perfectly synced to enhance the magnitude of the album.

Clearing The Path To Ascend is a high benchmark for other bands of this ilk to take on. I've tried other bands in this genre but I find that Yob have a unique way of creating music that's entirely sheltered in acute directness and yet still manages to deliver undiscovered subtleties on repeated listens. I love their startling ability to sink to new depths of desensitizing heaviness with song designs that are more or less uncomplicated but still can appease the layman's metal music listener.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Yob
Album: Clearing The Path To Ascend


 



Written on 14.08.2014 by
tea[m]ster
Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!
More reviews by tea[m]ster ››



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Apothecary - 14.08.2014 at 15:38  
Yeah, I haven't heard the full album yet other than the one track that was already released, but going by that one alone I definitely see what you're saying that this album appears to have better atmosphere and progression. It seems a little darker, and dark for this type of music is always good for me. Nice review
Ilham - 14.08.2014 at 15:41  
Planning on listening to this and the new Pall Bearer as I might see them both soon. Nice review Jay, as it is often the case.
Darkside Momo - 14.08.2014 at 18:39  
Written by Ilham on 14.08.2014 at 15:41

Planning on listening to this and the new Pall Bearer as I might see them both soon. Nice review Jay, as it is often the case.

Coming back in France or do they tour Morocco too?
Ilham - 14.08.2014 at 18:57  
Written by Darkside Momo on 14.08.2014 at 18:39
Coming back in France or do they tour Morocco too?

The day bands start touring Morocco, you'll hear me yapping about it . No unfortunately, I just have a couple things left to do in France, and if my finances allow me to, I'll see these guys and a couple other bands. Are you going to catch the Toulouse date? I think there is one.
Alex Fenger - 14.08.2014 at 20:53  
Written by Apothecary on 14.08.2014 at 15:38

Yeah, I haven't heard the full album yet other than the one track that was already released, but going by that one alone I definitely see what you're saying that this album appears to have better atmosphere and progression. It seems a little darker, and dark for this type of music is always good for me. Nice review

It's definitely my favorite of their's. They've taken their sound in the direction I wanted them to (like you said, darker and more "atmospheric").
Great review btw Jay
Darkside Momo - 14.08.2014 at 21:29  
Written by Ilham on 14.08.2014 at 18:57

Written by Darkside Momo on 14.08.2014 at 18:39
Coming back in France or do they tour Morocco too?

The day bands start touring Morocco, you'll hear me yapping about it . No unfortunately, I just have a couple things left to do in France, and if my finances allow me to, I'll see these guys and a couple other bands. Are you going to catch the Toulouse date? I think there is one.

There is one. Not totally sure to be there, but probably!
Apothecary - 15.08.2014 at 01:52  
Written by Ilham on 14.08.2014 at 18:57

If my finances allow me to, I'll see these guys and a couple other bands.

Why did I read that as *fiances at first?
LiquidSmoke - 15.08.2014 at 18:27  
My appetite has grown bigger after each paragraph read.
Ilham - 16.08.2014 at 00:27  
Okay. I listened to this. It's great. It's just great. Now I know which gig to give priority to, I'm not missing this live.
m.Kekchoz - 17.08.2014 at 13:22  
Probably my favorite since The Illusion of Motion ! A good surprise for me, yeay !!
Monolithic - 17.08.2014 at 20:16  
"Marrow" is such a mesmerizer. The entire album seems better than Atma to me.

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