YOB - Our Raw Heart
July 20, 2018, a month ago
The first track on Yob's new album, the 10:30 “Ablaze”, is such an incredible opener (perhaps the band's best yet) that when it ends, you kinda just want to stop, back 'er up, and listen to it again (like I did with KISS' “Crazy Crazy Nights” the day Crazy Nights came out, but, I digress). And that's pretty impressive for a song of that length, but Yob have always dealt in extremes, the Eugene, Oregon doom trio laying down some incredibly difficult and mountain-moving music from day one. “Ablaze” features some of the best—and most passionate—vocal work ever committed to a Yob recording, and, man, there's still a whole long album's worth of material to explore after that mammoth opener, the band giving the listener another hour or so of mind-expanding doom that does what many sludge, doom, and post-metal bands try to do today but just can't: create atmosphere, create meaning, create music that has soul, is interesting to listen to, and is also totally sonically devastating.
Yob have always done this, and on Our Raw Heart—put together after guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt lived through an intense medical situation, which one can only imagine adds to the overwhelming sense of drive and meaning here—they kill it as good as ever, through “The Screen”'s great, jagged guitar work, through album highlight “Beauty In Falling Leaves”' incredible, hypnotic, trad-doom majesty, through “Lungs Reach”'s monumental heft. This is a doom album of incredible proportions, the mighty Yob returning with a vengeance, crafting songs that easily stand up with their best, no small feat at all, especially this deep into what is amounting to a fairly substantial catalogue. By the time the melodies of the closing title track carry the listener away, it's abundantly clear something very, very special has happened here.