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Righteous! - 90%

olo, November 21st, 2007

Mike Scheidt is on a bit of a Wino -like spree. His previous band YOB released four classy doom epics quickly between 2001 and 2005 and disbanded in 2006 after the rhythm section was tired of the touring life. So he finds a new rhythm section, decides wisely not to carry on with the same band name, chooses to tweak the sound a bit and overall releases one of the better albums of the year. Typical fucking Wino moves.

Middian is the name of the band and Age Eternal is their first album, released by MetalBlade who have been supportive of Mike through these changes. The album opens with Dreamless Eye, such an aggressive and fast statement. Agreed, YOB have had fast moments but this is a marked change not only on this song but throughout the album. Another important change is the addition of vocals by the new bass player Will Lindsay. Mike continues to do his trademark nasal, tragic sounding doom vocals but Will accompanies and complements him with his ballsy growls and this adds a new dimension to the band's sound. Dreamless Eye surely halts to the slowest of the doom speeds and by the end of this 9 minute something, one's nothing short of blown away by the complete style this band did that in.

The next song Blood of the Icons though is a more familiar story, at least with a clean intro followed by crushing doom riffs; but then things go crazy for the next 8 minutes in what could be one of the best doom songs of the year. He builds it up, he peaks the hell out of it and he calms it all down before hitting the peak once more with some wild guitar leads reminiscent of the last two YOB albums. This shit clearly has more complexity, chaos and aggression involved than before and though I love YOB a hell lot, I'm completely digging this change too.

Three songs follow in a similar fashion. The title song Age Eternal and Sink to the Center both lasting a little lesser and a little more than the 15 minute mark respectively with a brilliant 6 minuter called The Celebrant between them. Middian's Age Eternal is a great stylistic advancement with tip-top production. Expect nothing short of stunningly intense spacey stoner friendly power trio doom metal from this album and possibly get a little more than that by the end of it. Just hoping to hear a lot more from such a righteous act and that this isn't going to be shortlived like most of Wino's bands. Doesn't matter if you missed the memo on YOB completely, you can always catch up beginning with this one and going backwards.