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YOB The Illusion of Motion

By Chris Hawkins, Contributor
Monday, February 21, 2005 @ 11:01 PM


(Metal Blade)

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One has to give it up to Metal Blade for being on point in grabbing up YOB last year. Itís pretty safe to assume if they had not, someone else would have quickly and wisely proposed a deal. I was first introduced to YOB via their Catharsis EP, released through Abstractsounds in late 2003. When that record came my way, it literally embedded itself into my subconscious. It proved the most appropriate soundtrack to a variety of both legal and illegal activities. In fact, it was my favorite EP of last year (since I got into it a little late).

Admittedly, I like doom. I love doom, in fact. YOB, however, seems to have synthesized all that is great about doom and made it their own. While some releases within said genre tend to have a homogenized guitar sound (the blend between old Sabbath records and Kyuss), YOB are committed to providing their listeners with nothing short of playing on 11 all the time, every time! The tone is there. Itís warm, enveloping, and numbing.

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You can freely love this band for being more than just a resin-scrape of doom, but rather a forward-thinking evolving entity, true to its roots yet light years ahead. Such is the case with the vocals. Imagine a current-sounding Ozzy fused with elements of both Today is the Day and Soilent Green. Without giving the impression of a copycat vocal style, the idea of how this truly sounds must be presented in some communicable way. So bear with the comparisons for they are merely introductions. The point is this band actually acknowledges the fact that vocals are their own instrument and successful delivery is dependent on originality.

Thankfully, The Illusion of Motion capitalizes on all of the strengths presented on Catharsis and ups the ante for the next chapter of YOB. I cannot imagine from where guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt conjured forth the idea of vocals that shift from intense guttural growls to tripped-out spacey madness. The music is the perfect backdrop to such, as the momentum shifts timelessly as one gets deeper and deeper into the album. YOB could be likened to Neurosis in that their output commands full attention. One cannot just listen to one or two tracks, but must absorb the whole. This new album also takes on a Kubrick-like quality in the way melodies, like scenes in a classic movie, are often briefly presented only to be keenly revisited and developed later in the mix. This feeling was most present in parts where the momentum would shift from quiet, clean, and trippy to extremely heavy mimicking the feeling of flying through the supernova in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is truly classic material thatís meant to be played over and over for each consecutive listen provides a new interest be it in the melody, the tasteful/intriguing chord structure, or just the overall effect on the senses. Be sure to check out www.yobdoom.com, the bandís official website for more info (they also have two other releases that Iím going to check out ASAP).

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