YOB - Clearing The Path to Ascend
Neurot Recordings
4 songs (62.30)
Release year: 2014
YOB, Neurot Recordings
Reviewed by Kynes
Album of the year

Doom metal masters are back with their seventh album, Clearing The Path to Ascend . If you enjoy monolithic masterpieces that ebb and flow like the crushing weight of an ocean, while still delivering beautiful soundscapes as well as frighteningly heavy sounds, then this will be one of the best things you’ll ever hear.

With no song under ten minutes, this naturally will take quite a few listens before you become familiar with the songs and their most memorable moments. Even after listening to this album over and over, there’s always something that jumps out on each listening leaving me with a renewed impression of astonishment. That aside, the first time I heard this I nearly dropped dead from the sheer beautifully balanced heaviness of it.

The intro to In Our Blood builds a sense of anticipation that could only be lived up to by a mind-blowing wall of sound, which is exactly what YOB achieves. So many albums open with acoustic or ambient intros which make way for predictably rehashed riffs but this is different I assure you. This one is a slow crushing song that never comes in danger of being dull in any way. The vocals come in after several minutes of swelling riffs and they suit perfectly. Mike Scheidt has a vocal style which goes through all sorts of clean and aggressive styles but not like any you’ve heard before. Trust me, just check it out.

Nothing to Win picks up the pace on the second track which effectively helps YOB avoid the doom trap of potentially boring listeners. Its main riff is a type of organised chaos whereby it sounds fast and steady while keeping a full tank of intensity at all times. The chorus on this one is one of the highlights of the album and the vocals are simply perfect. Unmask The Spectre and Marrow make up the second half of the album and the quality never drops for a second. There are passages of minimalist ambience combined with explosions of earth shattering doom chords and riffs. The speed drops back into a crushing trudge of doom for the most part on these tracks but they never lose their spark and each track is as close to flawless as can be in my opinion.

Despite me going for a track by track for the most part, this album is designed to be enjoyed as a whole. It’s like embarking on a journey through every type of landscape and emotion you can imagine, from bottomless oceans to desolate wastelands. This album evokes imagery and feelings which can be reminiscent of earthly solitude and in parts an almost Lovecraftian sense of alien paranoiac delusion. From the album cover to the song names to the album itself, this is a true magnum opus of doom, Yob have done it for sure this time.

Killing Songs :
All, especially In our Blood and Nothing to Win
Kynes quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by YOB that we have reviewed:
YOB - Our Raw Heart reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
YOB - The Great Cessation reviewed by Adam and quoted 91 / 100
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