YOB Post “Original Face” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yob (Photo by James Rexroad)

It’s been a full week since YOB released the video below, and I’ll admit I held off posting it basically because I didn’t go to the show where it was filmed and of everything I either attended or didn’t this summer, missing YOB probably stings the most. Actually, Portugal stings the most, but YOB at Le Poisson Rouge are a close second. You see, I was there in 2011 the last time they played that room, and they were of course incredible. I’ve seen YOB numerous times since then, but this show had the kind of vibe of being the NYC arrival party for their new album, Our Raw Heart (review here), and in addition to feeling like I should be there on account of that, I wanted to be. It’s fucking YOB. I remember a time when they were never going to play again. Every show since is a gift.

What finally tipped the balance and got me to get over myself and post it was reading that it was filmed by Frank Huang. Frank‘s work has always been top notch and worth highlighting whenever possible, and the clip for “Original Face” that follows here is no exception to that. It’s an exciting performance-capture that’s briskly edited and doesn’t need to be overdone to showcase the impact of YOB live. For everyone who’s seen them before, it’s a reminder of what a special band they are live, and for anyone who hasn’t, it’s a compelling argument to get off your ass next time. I hope to do precisely that when next given the opportunity. I’m also holding out hope they’ll be added to Roadburn next year and make a return there, but I haven’t heard anything either way as yet.

In the meantime, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Aaron Rieseberg and drummer Travis Foster are wrapping a quick West Coast run with Acid King and CHRCH, and next month they head to Europe to tour with Wiegedood and hit several festivals along the way on the extended trek. You’ll find those dates below, and if you’re anywhere near where they’re going to be, even if you’ve seen them multiple times before, go. If you don’t, you’ll regret it later. Trust me.

Enjoy the clip:

YOB, “Original Face” official video

YOB, who recently released their critically-acclaimed album, Our Raw Heart, share a live video for “Original Face.”

The clip was directed by Frank Huang (Maximum Volume Silence) and filmed at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.

YOB Tour Dates:
US WEST COAST TOUR w/ ACID KING & CHRCH
September 13 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
September 14 San Diego, CA Brick by Brick
September 15 Oakland, CA Metro

FALL EUROPEAN TOUR DATES w/ WIEGEDOOD
Oct 05 Karlsruhe, DE Jubez
Oct 06 Nijmegen, NL Soulcrusher Festival
Oct 07 Bristol, UK The Fleece
Oct 09 Glasgow, UK Stereo
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
Oct 11 Manchester, UK Gorilla
Oct 12 London, UK The Garage
Oct 13 Antwerp, BE Desertfest Belgium (No Wiegedood)
Oct 14 Koln, DE Gebaeude9
Oct 16 Hamburg, DE Molotow Club
Oct 17 Copenhagen, DK Vega
Oct 18 Gothenburg, SE Sticky Fingers
Oct 19 Stockholm, SE Kraken
Oct 20 Oslo, NO Bla
Oct 21 Helsinki, FI Tavastia (no Wiegedood)
Oct 23 Paris, FR Petit Bain
Oct 24 Feyzin, FR L’Epicerie Moderne
Oct 25 Cenon, FR Le Rocher De Palmer
Oct 27 Porto, PT Hard Club
Oct 28 Madrid, ES Caracol
Oct 29 Barcelona, ES Boveda
Oct 31 Langenthal, CH Old Capitol
Nov 01 Milan, IT Santeria Social Club
Nov 02 Bologna, IT Freakout Club
Nov 03 Martigny, CH Caves Du Manoir
Nov 04 Bregenz, AT Between
Nov 06 Vienna, AT Arena
Nov 07 Budapest, HU Robot
Nov 08 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Nov 09 Warsaw, PL Hydrozagadka
Nov 10 Krakow, PL Soulstone Gathering Festival
Nov 11 Berlin, DE Musik & Frieden
Nov 13 Athens, GR Kyttaro Live Club (no Wiegedood)

Dec 01 Los Angeles, CA Decibel Metal & Beer Festival

YOB is:
Mike Scheidt – Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums

YOB website

YOB on Thee Facebooks

YOB on Twitter

YOB on Instagram

Relapse Records website

Relapse Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB Announce European Tour Dates Supporting Our Raw Heart

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yob (Photo James Rexroad)

It a little bit broke my heart to miss YOB when they came through last week. They were in New York, I was in Connecticut. It would’ve been at least 90 minutes in the car, but at the end of that trip, I’d have seen YOB on their first run through supporting their new album, Our Raw Heart (review here), with direct support from Bell Witch and Philly’s own Heavy Temple rounding out the bill. That’s a fucking awesome show. But, you know, baby stuff. I’d been to a fest the weekend prior. Taking care of my wife’s sister’s kids. So on and so forth. But yeah, that one stung a little bit to miss. I don’t feel that way nearly about as many shows as I used to, but I for sure did about that one.

YOB, of course, have a fuck-ton of tour dates coming up, and more are being added. They’ll wrap up the stint with Bell Witch next week, then there are shows in September with Acid King and CHRCH which is a bill so righteous it makes me want to price flights to Albuquerque, and then a full European tour with Wiegedood that picks up in October. Then they’re at the West Coast Decibel Metal and Beer Fest in Los Angeles in December. Next year? Probably more touring, if I had to guess. Anyone remember when YOB didn’t tour? That used to be a thing. Now they’re like a Relapse band or something. Ha.

Overwhelming list follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

yob euro tour

YOB: Announce Fall European Headlining Tour Dates

Our Raw Heart is out now on CD/2xLP/Deluxe 2xLP Boxset/CS/Digital

Oregon cosmic trio YOB announce Fall European headlining tour dates throughout October and November. The band will be touring in support of the recently released full-length album Our Raw Heart. Belgium’s Wiegedood will provide direct support throughout the tour. A full list of confirmed tour dates is available below.

YOB’s Our Raw Heart is out now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages are available via Relapse.com HERE and Digital Downloads / Streaming Services HERE.

YOB w/ Bell Witch remaining dates:
July 04 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
July 06 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
July 07 Detroit, MI @ El Club
July 08 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
July 10 St. Paul, MN @ Club
July 11 Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
July 12 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
July 13 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
July 14 Boise, ID @ Neurolux

— All Dates Sept 6 – Sept 15th w/ Acid King & Chrch —
Sep 06 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
Sep 07 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst Atrium
Sep 08 Pioneertown, CA Pappy & Harriet’s
Sep 09 Los Angeles, CA Teragram
Sep 12 Albuquerque, NM Sister
Sep 13 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
Sep 14 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick
Sep 15 Oakland, CA Metro

YOB FALL EUROPEAN TOUR DATES w/ WIEGEDOOD:
Oct 05 Karlsruhe, DE Jubez
Oct 06 Nijmegen, NL Soulcrusher Festival
Oct 07 Bristol, UK The Fleece
Oct 09 Glasgow, UK Stereo
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
Oct 11 Manchester, UK Gorilla
Oct 12 London, UK The Garage
Oct 13 Antwerp, BE Desertfest Belgium (No Wiegedood)
Oct 14 Koln, DE Gebaeude9
Oct 16 Hamburg, DE Molotow Club
Oct 17 Copenhagen, DK Vega
Oct 18 Gothenburg, SE Sticky Fingers
Oct 19 Stockholm, SE Kraken
Oct 20 Oslo, NO Bla
Oct 21 Helsinki, FI Tavastia (no Wiegedood)
Oct 23 Paris, FR Petit Bain
Oct 24 Feyzin, FR L’Epicerie Moderne
Oct 25 Cenon, FR Le Rocher De Palmer
Oct 27 Porto, PT Hard Club
Oct 28 Madrid, ES Caracol
Oct 29 Barcelona, ES Boveda
Oct 31 Langenthal, CH Old Capitol
Nov 01 Milan, IT Santeria Social Club
Nov 02 Bologna, IT Freakout Club
Nov 03 Martigny, CH Caves Du Manoir
Nov 04 Bregenz, AT Between
Nov 06 Vienna, AT Arena
Nov 07 Budapest, HU Robot
Nov 08 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Nov 09 Warsaw, PL Hydrozagadka
Nov 10 Krakow, PL Soulstone Gathering Festival
Nov 11 Berlin, DE Musik & Frieden
Nov 13 Athens, GR Kyttaro Live Club (no Wiegedood)

Dec 01-02 Los Angeles, CA Decibel Metal & Beer Fest

www.yobislove.com
www.facebook.com/quantumyob
www.twitter.com/quantumyob
www.instagram/com/quantumyob
www.relapse.com
www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

YOB, Our Raw Heart (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB, Our Raw Heart: Rise in This Moment

Posted in Reviews on June 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yob our raw heart

One sincerely doubts the band thinks about it this way, but YOB‘s eighth album, Our Raw Heart, arrives at a pivotal moment for the band. Not only does it mark their debut on Relapse Records after outings on Neurot Recordings and Profound Lore — one might argue it’s their highest-profile release since 2004’s The Illusion of Motion and 2005’s The Unreal Never Lived (discussed here), which was issued via Metal Blade — but it’s the point at which they must answer the question of where to go after 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), which was not only a landmark for the Eugene, Oregon, three-piece themselves, but for the genre as whole.

It was the moment when YOB pushed beyond even the groundbreaking, crushing and ethereal cosmic doom of their two prior offerings, 2009’s The Great Cessation (review here) and 2011’s Atma (review here), and into new territory of emotionalism and aesthetic individuality. Simply put, it was one of the best if not the best record of the decade, so how the hell do you follow that up? If you’re YOB, the answer turns out to be pretty easy: you keep moving forward.

Our Raw Heart comes accompanied by the narrative of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt coming through a potentially life-threatening bout with diverticulitis that required emergency surgery and a long recovery afterward, and it’s easy enough to read that story and reflection on that into the lyrics of the seven-track/73-minute outing. Even as songs like “In Reverie,” the short and punishing “Lungs Reach” and longest track and immediate focal point “The Beauty in Falling Leaves” — which feels like a natural answer to “Marrow” (discussed here) from the last record and the latest in a tradition of YOB epics going back 15 years to the early declaration of their second album, Catharsis, and their preceding 2002 exploratory debut, Elaborations of Carbon — bleed directly into each other in a natural flow, something here feels unsettled, shaken. As reflective as Our Raw Heart gets, it’s still right that it includes “raw” in the title, as it seems there’s very little distance between the expression and the experience.

At the same time — and somehow not in contradiction — Our Raw Heart is also YOB‘s most expansive-sounding collection yet. Produced by the band, which is the steady lineup of Scheidt, bassist Aaron Rieseberg (also of Norska) and drummer Travis Foster, with Billy Barnett at Gung Ho Studio in their hometown, it’s patient and graceful. It maintains elements that are signature YOB, whether it’s in Rieseberg‘s foundational low end throughout, Foster‘s propensity to make even a quiet drum part like the quiet fade at the end of “Beauty of Falling Leaves” swing, or Scheidt‘s style of riffing on opener “Ablaze” and the galloping chug of the subsequent “The Screen,” but it also pushes ahead along the steady pattern of progression that YOB have tread since making their return nearly a decade ago after splitting up following The Unreal Never Lived.

And even before that. The entire trajectory, from one album to the next, has been a progression of always-developing sonic ideas, and as much as Our Raw Heart may be centered around Scheidt processing and coming to an understanding of what he’s been through — never mind the psychological and emotional implications of facing one’s own mortality; or better, don’t — the story of who YOB are as a band lies in that factor. Like Neurosis before them and few others on this planet, they’re the kind of band whose eighth album you look forward to because you can trust it will bring the next stage of their creative evolution, and certainly Our Raw Heart lives up to that promise.

yob photo by jimmy hubbard

Songs like “Original Face” and and even “The Screen” seem to share some sonic kinship with Atma, and certainly a closing title-track with a stretch of quiet guitar at the beginning is familiar enough ground, but for all three players and for the group as a single entity, these cuts and the rest demonstrate that the larger narrative of YOB is one of an ongoing advance, and the most pivotal accomplishment Our Raw Heart makes in terms of its sheer sound is in pushing beyond its predecessor as fluidly and naturally as that album did its own. Our Raw Heart is the point at which YOB affirm not only the sustainability of their sound as a mature band, which Clearing the Path to Ascend seemed to lay out, but also their unmistakable drive to go deeper into their approach and find a new level of enunciation for who they are and what they do.

This journey is as gorgeous as it is grueling and as beautiful as it is painful. The scope from the lumbering march of “The Screen” to the immersive breadth of “Beauty in Falling Leaves,” or from the momentary extremity and crunching atmosphere of “Lungs Reach” — which at 5:40 is the shortest YOB song ever — and the epilogue of push in “Original Face” and apex wash in the title-track, during which the lead guitar seems to sing through its surroundings almost like a joyous bagpipe on a fadeout that, even after 73 minutes, seems to end the record too soon. Worth noting that while it features the shortest cut they’ve ever written — as its centerpiece, no less — Our Raw Heart is also the longest album YOB have ever produced.

That’s here or there to the listening experience itself, as once you’re in it, you’re in it, but a testament nonetheless to the basic amount of, well, everything put into it. While the title begs the question of who “we” are — the band? the band and audience? the whole of humanity? — YOB make perfectly clear the personal tone of the album, and whatever it might mean to anyone who’d take it on, it obviously holds great meaning for them. Still, looking at it in the context of their arc as a whole, it is the continuity that’s most striking. ScheidtRieseberg and Foster seem to hit turning points almost each time out, and Our Raw Heart is no exception to that, but it’s also the logical next step from where they were four years ago, and as much as it may be fueled and motivated by what Scheidt went through over the last couple years, in its songwriting and execution it continues the band’s progression and says more plainly than ever before that it will not stop.

For as long as YOB go, they will keep growing. I don’t know if it was a question, but if it was, it isn’t anymore, and the answer is that while their style remains one of the most immediately identifiable in doom, and while their influence spreads over an up and coming generation of heavy acts looking to reach expanses of their own, YOB will still refine who they are, still push beyond their collective comfort zone, and still work to arrive at a changing realization of their sound. If Our Raw Heart isn’t a contender for the best album of 2018, I’ve got nothing for you, but more important than where it appears on a given list and more important than any fawning the press might throw its way, it’s the latest stage of YOB‘s resonant and perpetual manifestation, and another landmark along their own expressive path.

YOB, Our Raw Heart (2018)

YOB website

YOB on Thee Facebooks

YOB on Twitter

YOB on Instagram

Relapse Records website

Relapse Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB Set June Release for Our Raw Heart; Announce Tour Dates with Bell Witch

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yob (photo orion landau)

Not to point out the overly frickin’ obvious, but a YOB and Bell Witch tour is going to be insane. YOB go supporting Our Raw Heart, which is out in June on Relapse, while Bell Witch will be heralding last year’s brilliant Mirror Reaper (review here) on Profound Lore, having already played the thing in its 80-minute, one-song entirety at this year’s Roadburn in April. Details are still pretty sparse on the new YOB, which is unquestionably one of 2018’s most anticipated releases and marks their jump to Relapse from Neurot Recordings, which released their 2014 milestone, Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here).

YOB have never ceased to grow as a band from one release to the next, so one looks forward to finding out at what stage Our Raw Heart finds them. The album is out June 8 and the tour starts June 14, so you’ve only got a little bit to commit the songs to memory before you hit the gig, but I’m sure you’ll be on it no problem. Once you put on a new YOB record, it can be pretty difficult to turn it off.

The PR wire had the below to say on the subject. While you peruse the info, I’ll be busy asking myself why I don’t yet own the reissue of The Great Cessation that Relapse just put out. Oh yeah, because I’m broke. Well that was a fun reminder:

yob tour poster

YOB: Our Raw Heart Coming June 8; Announce North American Tour

YOB, the Oregon-based trio, will release Our Raw Heart, the band’s eighth full-length album and Relapse Records’ debut, on June 8.

“We’re very excited to share this new music,” says singer/guitar player Mike Scheidt. “We gave it everything we have. Going from an uncertain future in the beginning of 2017, to writing and then recording a new album at the end of it, it was quite a year. We’re very grateful. We’re looking forward to hitting the road again and celebrating decibels and good cheer with friends worldwide. Can’t wait.”

The news of the seven-track album’s release arrives as the band confirm a North American tour, kicking off June 14 at 89th Street in Oklahoma City. The outing, which will feature direct support from Bell Witch, also includes performances at Austin Terror Fest and Mutants of the Monster 2018. A full list of confirmed tour dates is available below.

Our Raw Heart was co-produced by the band and Billy Barnett at Gung Ho Studio in Eugene, Ore., with mastering handled by Heba Kadry (The Mars Volta, Diamanda Galas, Slowdive). Pre-Orders for Our Raw Heart will be available April 10 via Relapse.com.

YOB recently reissued their fifth full-length album, The Great Cessation, in December via Relapse. That album can be streamed via all digital retail outlets HERE and ordered via Relapse.com HERE.

YOB Tour Dates:

May 25 Vancouver, BC @ Modified Ghost Festival

— All Dates Jun 14 – Jul 14 w/ Bell Witch —

June 14 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
June 15 Austin, TX @ Austin Terror Fest
June 16 Little Rock, AR @ Mutants of the Monster 2018
June 17 Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
June 19 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
June 20 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
June 23 Wilmington, NC @ Reggies
June 24 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
June 25 Raleigh, NC @ King’s
June 27 Baltimore, MD @ Metro
June 28 New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
June 29 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
June 30 Boston, MA @ Middle East
July 02 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rosa
July 03 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
July 04 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
July 06 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
July 07 Detroit, MI @ El Club
July 08 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
July 10 St. Paul, MN @ Club
July 11 Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
July 12 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
July 13 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
July 14 Boise, ID @ Neurolux

www.yobislove.com
www.facebook.com/quantumyob
www.twitter.com/quantumyob
www.instagram/com/quantumyob
www.relapse.com
www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

YOB, The Great Cessation (Reissue) (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB Sign to Relapse Records; New Album Due this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Eugene, Oregon, cosmic doom groundbreakers YOB have completed work on their next full-length and signed to Relapse Records for the impending release. Even before this announcement came through, the notion of a new YOB album, long said to be in the works, was among the most exciting potentialities for 2018, and as the three-piece return some four years after 2014’s landmark Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here) — arguably one of the best if not the best record of the decade; yup, I mean it — they seem poised once again to make a definitive statement of the to-date ceaseless creative progression that’s made them this generation’s most crucial act in doom. New YOB. Nothing else needs to be said, but rest assured, plenty more will be.

Just off the PR wire:

yob

YOB: Complete New Album; Sign To Relapse Records

Oregon based cosmic trio YOB has completed recording their highly anticipated 8th full-length album and long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed Clearing The Path To Ascend. The album will contain six tracks co-produced by the band and recorded with engineer Billy Barnett at Gung Ho Studio in Eugene, OR, with mastering handled by Heba Kadry (The Mars Volta, Diamanda Galas, Slowdive). The album has already appeared on the Most Anticipated Albums of 2018 list by numerous publications.

The new album is set for a summer release via Relapse Records, whom YOB have officially signed to following a series of reissues with the label. Frontman Mike Scheidt commented on the new material and signing:

“I have many, many albums in my collection that have been released by Relapse, and I’ve been a fan of their releases for nearly 30 years. We’re honored and excited to release our new album with Relapse. We can’t wait to get back at it and share this new music with our friends worldwide!”

Additionally, YOB recently reissued their fifth full-length album, The Great Cessation, in December via Relapse. That album can be streamed via all digital retail outlets HERE and ordered via Relapse.com HERE.

YOB has also announced a brief run of dates in 2018, including appearances at Modified Ghost Festival in Vancouver and Sabertooth Festival in Portland. A complete listing of dates can be found below.

Stay tuned for more details on YOB’s upcoming album.

YOB Tour Dates:
Feb 15th Seattle, WA Chop Suey
Feb 16th Portland, OR Sabertooth Festival
Feb 23rd Eugene, OR WOW Hall
May 25th 2018 – Vancouver, BC – Modified Ghost festival

YOB is:
Mike Scheidt – Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/quantumyob
http://www.yobislove.com/
https://yobislove.bandcamp.com/
http://relapse.com
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

YOB, The Great Cessation (2017 Reissue)

Tags: , , ,

YOB to Reissue The Great Cessation Dec. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

yob alyssa herman photo

If you’ve been wondering to yourself, ‘Gee, what’s the perfect thing to get that dude who runs The Obelisk for Xmas?,’ I hereby invite you to look no further. Originally released via Profound Lore in 2009 as their comeback offering after calling it quits following 2005’s landmark The Unreal Never Lived (discussed here), YOB‘s The Great Cessation (review here; also discussed here) is nothing less than an aggressive masterpiece, from the rolling open of “Burning the Altar” through the darkened reaches of its title-track. Relapse Records will have a reissue out on Dec. 8 with two bonus tracks from the vinyl. Buy it. I don’t care if you own the original or not. It’s fucking YOB. You get off your ass and you buy it. Rest assured, I’ll be doing the same.

The Eugene, Oregon, natives have a handful of dates booked for 2018 already and one expects a new album to land sometime next year as a follow-up to 2014’s stunning Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), so yes, there will be plenty more discussion around these parts about how YOB are the best band in the world. Because they are.

From the PR wire:

yob the great cessation

YOB: Announce The Great Cessation Deluxe Reissue; New Shows

YOB has announced the deluxe reissue of The Great Cessation. Originally released in 2009, the trio’s 5th full-length record is a master lesson in cosmic Doom. Epic, crushing, and heavy beyond words, YOB achieved legendary status in recent years due to their unmatched aesthetic and incredible body of work. The Great Cessation is a flawless document of a band ebbing and flowing between thunderous, skull-splitting riffage and rhythm to meditative moments of introspective psychedelia; an essential piece in the pantheon of YOB’s illustrious output. This definitive edition has been completely remastered by Heba Kadry (The Mars Volta, Diamanda Galas, Slowdive) and includes stunning new artwork plus two bonus tracks (previously only available on vinyl).

Vocalist / guitarist Mike Scheidt reminisced on the original release of The Great Cessation, saying:

“With The Great Cessation, we were revitalized from our break, we just had Aaron join the ranks with the single best new potential member audition (since Travis) and the album basically wrote itself. When we broke up, we played generally to very small crowds in a very small scene. When we came back, our return was met with a scene that has caught up to what the genre’s best had to offer, and we all of a sudden had opportunities we’d never had before. Hell, we did shows with Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, High On Fire, that were attended by 50-ish people in the early 2000’s.”

YOB’s deluxe reissue of The Great Cessation is due out December 8th on CD/2xLP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital order are available via Relapse.com HERE and all digital retail outlets HERE.

Additionally, YOB has announced a brief run of dates in 2018, including appearances at Modified Ghost Festival in Vancouver and Sabertooth Festival in Portland. A complete listing of dates can be found below.

The Great Cessation Tracklisting:
Burning The Altar
The Lie That Is Sin
Silence of Heaven
Breathing from the Shallows
The Great Cessation
Blessed by Nothing (Bonus Track)
Pain Like Sugar (Bonus Track)

YOB Tour Dates:
Feb 15th 2018 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
Feb 16th 2018 – Portland, OR – Sabertooth Festival
Feb 23rd 2018 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall
May 25th 2018 – Vancouver, BC – Modified Ghost festival

YOB’s plans for 2018 are even bigger and will be revealed in due time.

YOB is:
Mike Scheidt – Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/quantumyob
http://www.yobislove.com/
https://yobislove.bandcamp.com/
http://relapse.com
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

YOB, “Breathing from the Shallows”

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: YOB, The Great Cessation

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

YOB, The Great Cessation (2009)

From their 2002 12th Records debut, Elaborations of Carbon, onward, each YOB album has established its own personality, but I don’t think there’s any question 2009’s The Great Cessation (review here) is the angriest of the seven offered to-date. Released as the first of two outings for Profound Lore Records — the other, Atma (review here), followed in 2011 — it marked the return of the groundbreaking Eugene, Oregon, cosmic doomers, who had split after the release of what was then their pinnacle achievement, The Unreal Never Lived (discussed here), was released in 2005.

The story behind that stretch of time has been told and retold, but the tumult plays directly into The Great Cessation‘s atmosphere and five tracks. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt continued to work with Metal Blade Records, who had put out The Unreal Never Lived and the preceding 2004 full-length, The Illusion of Motion, as he formed the new project Middian and released a debut album therefrom in 2007 titled Age EternalMiddian, who went so far as to tour to support that record — something that YOB was really only starting to do when they called it quits in ’06 — wound up getting sued by an unsigned Wisconsin-based outfit called Midian who had trademarked the name and apparently decided the world wasn’t big enough for more than one band to use it despite the different spelling, and that basically brought the project to an end. Age Eternal, which invariably had some commonalities with YOB‘s work, languished, and though there was a brief time where Middian had changed their name to Age Eternal and it looked like they might press forward, by 2008, Scheidt had reformed YOB with drummer Travis Foster and new bassist Aaron Rieseberg, and work had begun on The Great Cessation, which somewhat ironically given its title, was nothing if not a new beginning for them as a group.

It was also, apparently, the receiving vessel for all the frustration that was born of this troubled time. While Catharsis had cut its teeth in a formative, slow-motion psychedelic doom, The Illusion of Motion made its mark with the perennially satisfying roll of “Ball of Molten Lead,” and The Unreal Never Lived found a place to dwell between sonic spiritualism and crushing heft, The Great Cessation was fueled by a rawer impulse. Produced by Sanford Parker, its sound was crisp and full, but the impact was near-immediate with opening track “Burning the Altar,” and what unfolded from then on would only become more scathing until arriving at its final resolution in the closing 20-minute title cut. To wit, the lurch forward that begins “Burning the Altar,” as YOB seem to reel back and attempt to smother the listener with the weight of the opening riff, or the explosive and caustic turns of the subsequent “The Lie that is Sin,” which crashes and rumbles and seethes even in its quietest stretches, finding Scheidt switching between cleaner vocals and harsh screams amid a final linear build that doesn’t so much offer payoff as it tightens until it can go no further and collapses on itself. “Burning the Altar,” which even eight years later commands nothing less than maximum volume at all times, had something of an instrumental hook, but YOB would pull the rug out from under it with “The Lie that is Sin,” and “Silence of Heaven” and “Breathing from the Shallows” only continued the descent into the darkest territory YOB had pursued up to that time, and maybe the darkest they’ve ever pursued, period.

Among those, particularly “Silence of Heaven.” Don’t get me wrong, “The Lie that is Sin” has just as much crunch as soar, and “Breathing from the Shallows” is second to none in terms of both growl and the critique of lines like “Where are you going with your greed” and “Ambition like cancer,” but if there’s a single representation on The Great Cessation of the raw anger running through the band at the time, it’s the centerpiece. It barely has lyrics, and seems to dedicate the energy that would otherwise go into crafting them into tearing its own flesh off. Furious and, for that, a little sad when taken in relation to the spiritualism or at least metaphysical searching Scheidt and YOB have put at the center of the band’s aesthetic all along, it feels right to call it a moment of pure catharsis despite having nothing to do with that album of the same name. Even when one goes back and listens to “Burning the Altar” or “The Lie that is Sin” before it, the rage of “Silence of Heaven” seems to radiate in all directions, affecting the songs before it as well as those after.

And yet, when The Great Cessation arrives at the quiet opening guitar line of its 20-minute closing title-track, isn’t there some sense of resolution? Isn’t that YOB willing itself — themselves — to press forward from that very anger and get back to the things that truly matter, court costs, legalese and other concerns be damned? In the tradition of “Catharsis,” “The Illusion of Motion” and “The Unreal Never Lived” — each an extended closing title-cut for the record on which it appeared — “The Great Cessation” provided YOB a landing point for the expression of The Great Cessation as a whole, but in its more melodic and serene atmosphere, that landing point also serves to answer “Silence of Heaven”‘s clenched fist with a release of tension. An exhale. Sure, the second half moves into some growling and lumbering riffs, and Rieseberg‘s bass is a thickening presence as always amid Foster‘s popping snare that does so much across the album’s 62 minutes to hold it all together, and the song devolves into noise as it makes its way out, but in comparison, even that seems reassuring compared to the blisters raised earlier. After such chaos, even the final howls of Scheidt‘s guitar — almost like a siren as the bass and drums fade out — are a sign of YOB leaving that anger behind. Purged.

They would indeed keep moving forward. The Great Cessation was my album of the year in 2009 (also the first year this site was up), and Atma followed suit in 2011, but YOB would hit their to-date transcendental peak with 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here). Also their debut on Neurot Recordings, it was a record — yes, the top one released that year — that looked inward as much as outward, to the self and the universe surrounding, and in addition to being YOB‘s most sonically progressive songwriting, it seems in hindsight to have taken the will to put its emotions brazenly at the forefront from The Great Cessation, and thereby wind up in a much different place in terms of representing YOB as people and as a group.

I’ve said on multiple occasions that YOB are the best band of their generation, and I stand by that assessment completely. They’re said to have a follow-up to Clearing the Path to Ascend in the works, which I imagine was delayed somewhat owing to recent health issues on Scheidt‘s part (he had surgery multiple times over but seems to be doing well, which is fortunate; all the best to him of course), and seems a likely candidate for most anticipated LP of 2018. Whenever it arrives, rest assured, it will be welcome. In the interim and despite its representing such a dark period of renewal for the band, I hope you enjoy revisiting The Great Cessation.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Kind of a weird week around here, I guess. I had company in town into Tuesday morning, so Monday was kind of a blur, yet in terms of response, it was easily the biggest day for posts. The rest of the week was pretty quiet, relatively speaking, including some stuff that I was hoping would catch more eyes. I recognize not everything is going to reach as many people as Uncle Acid reissuing their first record, but still. A few killer premieres — Blaak Heat, Old Man Wizard, The Quill — and reviews — Paradise Lost, Mindkult — that are well worth a look if you get there. If not, thanks at least for reading this sentence.

In Connecticut today, New Jersey tomorrow and back to Massachusetts on Sunday, so it’s going to be a busy weekend, but I have already and will continue to see family as a part of that process, so I’m looking forward to it. Some pretty cool stuff in store for next week though. Might do a surprise poll if I can bother Slevin to help me put it together over the next day or two, so keep an eye out for that, but there’s plenty besides even if that doesn’t shake out.

Here are the notes, subject to change as always:

Mon.: Blues Funeral track premiere/album review; news on End Hip End It, Attalla and more.
Tue.: Steak video premiere/overdue album review; maybe that poll.
Wed.: Red Mountains track premiere/review; Six Dumb Questions with Cortez.
Thu.: Sundrifter track premiere.
Fri.: Stinkeye review.

These posts have gotten longer and longer lately — writing about YOB is a sure way for me to not at all cure that — but here’s a nice moment to leave you with before I sign off for the weekend:

While waiting to go to a haircut appointment late yesterday afternoon, The Patient Mrs. and I sat outside at a cafe here in CT which we frequent when we’re here. The place was getting ready to close up but there were a couple people sitting at the outside tables and they weren’t chasing anyone away or anything. They just kind of leave them there. The sun was shining and we sat there looking at a clothing rack outside the little for-middle-aged-ladies boutique next door at a black and white shirt with a rose on it and a bird or something and I started cracking wise about buying it and being goth with its wide neck and wearing it when I get hangry and sad before meals. “Aww, what’s the matter, pookie? Did your eating disorder make you goth? Did you have to put on your sad goth shirt because of it?”

My wife, about two months away from giving birth to what will be our first and only child, laughing loud enough so that the people at other tables looked over to see what was going on. My favorite sound in the world. Her amazing laugh. Her wonderful face. I had to stop for a minute to realize how lucky I am to be where I am in my life. I’m 35 years old, unemployed, just waiting to take up the stay-at-home-dad mantle, but it was such an incredible feeling of warmth and beauty in her laugh that I damn near wept behind my sunglasses. How lucky I am. How stupidly, stupidly unworthy I am of the last 19-plus years with her. How much I’m looking forward to the terrific and terrifying adventures ahead and to facing them together. It was such a simple thing, and that moment didn’t last — had to go get that haircut, after all — but if I lived for a thousand years, I’d hope to never forget it.

Thanks again for reading, and have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

Olde on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

Deaf Radio on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

Saturndust on Thee Facebooks

Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,