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

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YOB, Our Raw Heart (2018)

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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)

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 First Announcement: Acid King, YOB, John Garcia & Wo Fat Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2018 banner

This past weekend the Desertfests in Berlin and London took place. The Spring Desertfests. The timing, then makes perfect sense for Desertfest Belgium 2018 to make its first lineup announcement for this October. One imagines Desertfest Athens 2018 won’t be far behind if it hasn’t already put word out. Either way, the Antwerp lineup is already a doozy, with four acts added any of whom coul serve as a headliner if the fest so desired: YOBAcid KingJohn Garcia and Wo Fat.

Garcia is of particular note here since it seems he’s got a new — or at least re-branded — band backing him. That seems to make it likely he’ll take on tracks from a variety of his projects over the last two-plus decades — HermanoSlo BurnKyussUnida, etc. — but I’m more curious to know if there will be original material as well, if John Garcia an the Band of Gold have been writing. Call me greedy. I like information.

Here’s some from the fest:

Last week we had a resounding start of this year’s event, with the Early Bird tickets selling out in less than 24 hours, and not a single name announced. We hear you loud and clear, people of Desertfest! And this is why we are excited to announce the FIRST NAMES confirmed for this year’s edition.

Few bands embody the spirit of Desertfest more than the mighty Yob: intense and heavy, yet full of love. It is only fitting that we invite them back after the release of their eighth studio album. Another scene legend that surprisingly has never played our fest before is John Garcia – so we decided to fix that. He’ll be playing the fest with his new outfit The Band of Gold.

One more name that needs no introduction is Acid King – who may or may not have new material ready by the time they reach our shores. And finally, we are glad to have Wo Fat returning to the festival, as their last passage was charged with emotion and passion.

So there we are – four names that just ooze awesomeness. And with that, we also start selling the REDUCED COMBI TICKETS, 3 days at the price of €95 which is an absolute steal. If you missed out on the Early Birds, don’t make the same mistake twice! This edition is gonna be red hot. In fact, we’d say it already is!

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YOB, “The Screen”

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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

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YOB, The Great Cessation (Reissue) (2017)

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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

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YOB, The Great Cessation (2017 Reissue)

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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

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YOB, “Breathing from the Shallows”

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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.

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Northwest Terror Fest 2017: Coven and John Haughm Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Losing Warning is a bummer, but Northwest Terror Fest 2017 is taking it in stride and taking its game to another level entirely by adding Coven to the bill for their first US show in 27 years. I had the good fortune of watching Coven play at Roadburn in April (review here), and their classic sound has never been more relevant than it is today, and Jinx Dawson remains a mystifying presence as frontwoman, even nearly five decades after the band issued their landmark 1969 outing, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, which you can hear in full below. The point of that massive fucking run-on sentence? Go see Coven if you can. There. I made it simple. I hear that’s what you’re supposed to do on the internet.

John Haughm of Pillorian and Agalloch will also play an acoustic set as part of the packed lineup, and as a side note, tomorrow I’ll have a Six Dumb Questions interview posted with David Rodgers of Godhunter, who organizes this fest as well as other Terror Fest incarnations like the Austin Terror Fest at SXSW and Southwest Terror Fest in Arizona. Dude breaks his ass in making these things happen, and you’ll note Godhunter aren’t on this bill, so it’s clearly not about just putting together an event to promote his own doings. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Northwest Terror Fest 2017 runs June 15-17. Here’s the latest from the PR wire, including the full schedule:

northwest-terror-fest-2017-poster

COVEN, JOHN HAUGHM JOIN NORTHWEST TERROR FEST

NORTHWEST TERROR FEST – SEATTLE JUNE 15-17

Due to matters out of control of Northwest Terror Fest, we regret to inform that Warning will no longer be able to perform during this specific weekend. But at the end of the darkness is light as we are proud to announce that the legendary Coven will be playing on the evening of Saturday June 17th in what will be their first stateside show in 27 years!

While its widely disputed that some have cited Coven as the first band to brandish the sign of the horns, their occult laced tunes have laid down an irrefutable influence on the world of metal and doom beginning with their mystic debut album, 1969’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.

John Haughm of Agalloch will be performing an intimate set.

Inspired by Cormac McCarthy, Ennio Morricone, Neil Young’s “Dead Man” soundtrack, and the renegade years of the American old west, John Haughm’s solo performance is a haunting and sonic 30 minute journey through dystopian wastelands of the past. It is a bleak, atmospheric, and powerful droning Western soundscape in steadfast spirit of the years 1865 – 1895.

Northwest Terror Fest Schedule:

THURSDAY 6/15
Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Wolves In The Throne Room
8:50 – 9:30 – Samothrace
7:35 – 8:10 – King Woman
6:30 – 7:00 – Lycus
5:30 – 6:00 – Uada

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Graves At Sea
8:10 – 8:50 – Take Over And Destroy
7:00 – 7:35 – Void Omnia
6:00 – 6:30 – Barghest
5:00 – 5:30 – Witch Ripper

THURSDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
1:00 – END – John Haughm
11:50 – 12:40 – Aerial Ruin
11:00 – 11:30 – Crowhurst

FRIDAY 6/16

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Cephalic Carnage
8:50 – 9:30 – Goatwhore
7:35 – 8:10 – Noisear
6:30 – 7:00 – Nomads
5:30 – 6:00 – Fucked And Bound

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 Cult Leader
8:10 – 8:50 – Call Of The Void
7:00 – 7:35 – Transient
6:00 – 6:30 – Endorphin’s Lost
5:00 – 5:30 – Recluse

FRIDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Usnea
11:50 – 12:20 – Burials
11:00 – 11:30 – Sol

SATURDAY 6/17

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Coven (First US Show in 27 years)
8:50 – 9:30 – Yob
7:35 – 8:10 – Marissa Nadler
6:30 – 7:00 – Young And In The Way
5:30 – 6:00 – Infernal Coil

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Bell Witch featuring Aerial Ruin
8:10 – 8:50 – Forn
7:00 – 7:35 – CHRCH
6:00 – 6:30 – Hands Of Thieves
5:00 – 5:30 – Cliterati

SATURDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Heiress
11:50 – 12:20 – Rhine
11:00 – 11:30 – Old Iron

www.facebook.com/northwestterrorfest
https://www.facebook.com/events/1741333786182206/
www.neumos.com
www.thebarboza.com
www.highlineseattle.com

Coven, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)

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