Tuesday 4 September 2018

Yob - Our Raw Heart

Labels: Relapse Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 08 Jun 2018


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

Following my review yesterday I felt like the warm embrace of doom again and this release came to mind. It's the newest album from Eugene (Oregon, US) doom band Yob, which appeared earlier this year after a near four-year gap following their last full-length "Clearing The Path To Ascend". "Our Raw Heart" is the trio's eight album and marks their 22nd year as a band, which is one hell of a feat. They will be heading over two these shores in October in support of the record with Wiegedood, playing a select number of dates as they plough through Europe.

“Our Raw Heart” is an album that’s been built by the experiences that almost led to the band’s demise, amidst the illness that affected Mike Scheidt. Thankfully, as it displays, Yob are stronger than ever and are ready to tell their story through music. Opener Ablaze is filled with the kind of doom riffs (Mike) and bass-lines (Aaron Rieseberg) that helped to coin the genre’s name, while the percussion (Travis Foster) beats a tempo filled with raw passion. Mike’s vocals are a mix of cleanly sung crooning (if that’s the right word) and occasional bursts of harshness, all the white helping the music to feel truly heartfelt.  There’s a pulsating groove within The Screen. It’s hard to truly describe but it’s mesmerising and suits the song, which is filled with a darker and heavier atmosphere. It’s not as densely layered as the album’s opener and it sees Yob looking back towards their earlier sound somewhat.

The lowly bass build-up of In Reverie gives way to a crushing monster that makes you jump (at least it did with me) and from there on in it’s a whirlwind of slow doom with a laid-back stoner edge that turns into something truly evil. The thing is though, Yob doesn’t waste time being all showy. The constant repeating melodies and musical passages in the verses are fantastic and exactly what you need in an album like this. Ambience greets you on Lungs Reach. It offers an opportunity for peaceful reflection, though the feeling that it could all come crashing down at any moment is just around the corner. The mid-point passes before that feeling becomes reality and Yob once again drags you into the torturous shadows and into their psyches. 

Lungs Reach is a brief song given the lengths of the others present here and it leads nicely into Beauty In Falling Leaves, which itself characterises the gentle/harsh dynamics that have crept further into Yob’s sound on this record. As the lengthiest song on “Our Raw Heart”, yet it’s also the most melodic and while it would be unfair to describe it as “easy-listening”, it’s a really soothing piece. That soothing feeling was never going to last though and sure enough, Original Face destroys any zen-like calmness you might have been feeling thanks to the sound of heavy riffs and roared lyrics. The technicality and song-writing prowess isn’t to be missed though, as it gets the heart racing. Its fitting that the title-track rounds out this album. It draws a line underneath all of the pain that Yob has felt in recent times but also paints a positive and thankful picture too. The swirling instrumental layers that take over as the song reaches it’s end are magnificent and underline why this is such a great album.

You can stream "Our Raw Heart" in full below:-

It's available to purchase from their bandcamp page above on cd, vinyl and digitally, though tape copies have sold out.

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