YOB – Clearing the Path To Ascend – by Nadean Daley

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Neurot Recordings/ Relapse Records
Distributor/label URL: http://www.relapse.com
Released: 2/9/2014
Buy Album [URL]: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clearing-Path-Ascend-YOB/dp/B00M1B2AHC
Band Website: http://www.yobislove.com
Band line-up:

Mike Scheidt – Vocals/Guitars
Aaron Riseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums


1) In Our Blood
2) Nothing to Win
3) Unmask the Spectre
4) Marrow


After a brief break up, Oregon based trio ‘YOB’ are back to reclaim their doom crown with their 7th album to date.
It may only be four tracks long but with the longest track lasting a whopping 18minutes and 55 seconds it’s got all the work of a standard 12 track album and then some.

The majestic opening of ‘In our blood’ might make it seem like a slow starter, but at 16mins 56secs it allows plenty of time for growing space and proves this at about a minute and a half in, which will make your ears stand to attention as the volume is suddenly cranked up! Thundering doom drums thrash their way through amp rumbling riffs before Mike Scheidt’s Robert plant style spine tingling vocal creeps in before he begins to growl, almost mistaken for a Jackal and Hyde personality disorder.

‘Nothing to Win’ is balls out from the beginning, rolling doom drumbeats and intense guitar riffs as Mike Shandit’s Piercing vocals melodically weaves in and out, being the shortest track on the album it doesn’t miss anything out. Its not until the last two tracks that we hear evidence of Yob evolving, the tension building opener of ‘Unmask the Spectre’ builds suspense, before immense break downs sewn in and out of this blissfully dark doom track.
Final track ‘Marrow’ – a wonderful blend of doom and progressive rock making this the arc of the album, the successor, amp shaking riffs accompanied by a steady pulse like bass and cymbals prove this is a band who are musically maturing gracefully, enchanting vocals make this the perfect album finisher.

There is still space for YOB to evolve throughout the doom spectrum, but ‘Clearing the Path to Ascend’ has cleared that path for them, without sounding cliché. If doom is your bag it’s a definite must hear.

Review by Nadean Daley