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Yob is a stoner/doom metal band from Eugene, Oregan. They have been in the music scene for quite some time now and have built themselves a very solid fanbase over the years. They are often heradled as one of the finest doom metal bands in the world. Atma is their sixth full length album with a total length of 55 minutes spanning into 5 songs. Now let's get into the review. When you first listen to this album, the first thing you will notice is how much dirtier the production is from all their previous albums.
This is their first album since they split up in 2006. But these guys have not dulled down their sound at all. It's easy to see that this band is very earthy and obviously in the lyrics and the music itself there is a lot of spiritual matters involved from how you feel when you hear the music flow to the lyrical content. There is no doubt that Yob is still very inspired and are still writing music that is true to them. This album starts off with Prepare the Ground. This song is an absolute fuckin' blaster, relentless and incredibly rhythmically pounding. The second song is the title track, Atma, and starts off with a short segment of background noise, then blasts in with a heavy, heavy force. This is somehow even heavier than Prepare the Ground, which completely blew me away. This is by far the darkest song on the album.
The next song is Before We Dream of Two, a very trippy song that is as always heavy as fuck and very captivating to put it briefly. Then Upon the Sight of the Shore, which is similar to Atma, is just incredibly heavy and dark with unique riffing and trippy solos. Despite being the shortest song in the album, it has quite a bit of content.
And last but not least, we have A Drift in the Ocean featuring Scott Kelly from the legendary Neurosis on vocals! This song starts off very soft with a clean guitar intro which simply builds up the intense atmosphere that is to come. This is definitely the most atmospheric, epic, and trance- inducing song on the album. This song truly represents best what this band is doing with music, which is soul searching incredibly heavy and slow brooding music with a touch of destruction.
The highlights of this album would have to be Mike Scheidt's vocals and Aaron Reiseberg's bass. These two elements in my mind are what makes this album what it is, the incredibly heavy, dirty bass and the trippy, slightly reverberating vocals that give an absolutely emotional and deeper feel to the music. This music is very emotional in the sense that it doesn't sound like they are trying to be emotional, but it's how it makes you feel. All in all, Yob's Atma will go down in my collection as one memorable album for sure and their best album yet. I highly recommend this band for anyone looking for something extreme, but very in-depth. This is going to be one of my favorites of 2011 and of all time without a doubt.
For fans of:
Wolves in the Throne Room
Anyone who listens to both sludge and doom, probably knows YOB. Their music has stunned us for years. They have toured with titans in the genre such as Neurosis and have made roughly 20 songs in their career, but those 20 songs are phenomenal. I have every single one, and the second I saw this album was coming out, I was speechless. The Great Cessation, the last YOB effort had been released 3 years before this one and it was probably one of the best of their records next to The Illusion of Motion (2004). I had been thoroughly impressed with their new stuff, even though Sato is no longer on bass. Their music did change a bit, but even still, it was so amazing, it had been almost worth the loss of their old bassist. Atma, their newest full length and their album with the most songs is not something to toy with...
And I mean that. I will say that this album is probably their best album. Cessation and Illusion were amazing, but this is in a new universe. The record strikes you with insane rhythms and dominates you with a wall of sound that knocks your soul off its feet and pounds it with ferocious intensity. I have honestly never heard something with this much emotion in it. There is so many emotions in this masterpiece - Hate, Anger, Avarice, Depression and strangely I feel Happiness as well, especially in the title track, which seemed to be mostly happy tones with a sinister underlying melody.
Atma, honestly is no different then any other YOB album, musically. We still have our growls and our clean vocals, and it has really not changed. I noticed a bit more distortion and reverb on the mic, but honestly, I have really always thought that the only YOB album that sounded a bit different vocally is Catharsis. This one is still all YOB - 100%, through and through. The guitars follow the same style as The Great Cessation, but have a bit of a more raw feel to it. It felt as if you put Cessation into Guantanamo bay and let it sit there and gain it's hate and anger for about 3 years and then released it into the world. I was impressed, honestly. It reminded me of Elaborations of Carbon, to be honest. It was like their roots came out and they were playing on sheer animalistic instinct. I was thrilled. The rhythm section (drums/bass) were honestly droned out by the wall of sounds of the fronting instruments, but it was still very audible. You could hear everything they were playing and there were many times when it was JUST the rhythm section playing. It really made for a monumental album to have all these intense aspects to it.
I'll say this - I am a collector, yet I have no money. I honestly forced myself to buy this - not on CD, but on VINYL. It's that good (not to mention the album itself is honestly one of the best setups in vinyl history. It's seriously the best YOB album to date and I would hope that their music continues to grow, change and astound the way that this album did.
Doom metal. A genre dominated by crushing guitars, plodding rhythms, and a foreboding atmosphere. Such terms could begin to describe the sort of music that Yob make, a band based in Portland, Oregon. With their 2011 album 'Atma', Yob's doomy style of stoner metal is sure to please adherents of the genre, although there is not much more to the music here than is advertised. For epic, grimy doom metal rooted in the 1970's tradition, look no further.
Upon first listen to 'Atma', the closest thing I could compare Yob to would be a rawer Black Sabbath, fused with Mastodon, providing they were too busy refilling the bong water to focus on their more technical aspects. 'Atma' is a dirty-sounding, sludgy album, and filled up with throwback riffs from the time when metal was still getting up on its own two feet. The vocals start off sounding much like Ozzy Osbourne's, or even a vocalist from Mastodon; nasal and moody. As the album goes on though, Scott Kelly from the legendary post-metal act Neurosis comes in to make an appearance on two of the tracks, and his parts seem directly catered to him and the sort of music that Neurosis makes. Think the long, brooding sections of mellowness in 'The Eye Of Every Storm' and this will account for an elements of the music that Yob makes here. Barring that, Yob's heavier gears switch them into something of a retro-doom act; heavy as all hell, but fairly simplistic in its sound. This formula can be very fun and enjoyable at times, but the effect starts to wear off when the sound is drawn out much longer than feels appropriate. It is granted that a tenant of doom metal is to make drawn out compositions, but here, a little more variety or build-up in the way these songs develop would have done so much to make 'Atma' a grander experience.
'Adrift In The Ocean' is the greatest piece on the album, closing the album with more dynamic and dramatic tension than anything else on the album combined. Scott Kelly makes another cameo here, and while I don't care much for his vocals, they are used very well in the context of this style. Surely, Yob is not a band that fits into my tastes all that much; I find them a little uneventful, although the music can be very fun. There are great riffs here, and it is quite a good album, but there's not enough on 'Atma' to keep me coming back months from now.