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The calmness she radiates - 95%

vk66, December 25th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Neurot Recordings (Digipak)

Clearing the Path to Ascend, contrary to the genre tags, is a very angry record. The insatiable trio behind the instruments have probably churned out the best of everything that 2014 could offer to any metal fan. YOB's latest is not a straight forward stoner/sludgy/doom metal album, it's a tornado of emotional let out through systematic deconstruction of one's senses. The vocals are probably the strongest part of this album, such delicately woven around minimalistic whirlwind of atmospheres and in the very next moment, form part of the clouded wall of sonic assault on your world. It's such a treat to listen to this record start to finish and I almost always sit calm while doing so, because giving into this music is like speaking to yourself, having a critical view of it all and jabbing your inconsistencies through the droning of absolutely fantastic harmony that the trio weave around through the course of this album.

During track #3, Unmask The Spectre, the band suddenly breaks up the build up of a very melodic, dirty sounding atmosphere to almost nothing but few notes of bass and an augury, which again, builds up without warning into some of the harshest vocals and dirtiest down tuned guitars you'll ever hear and the resulting reaction is truly spectacular. The band's songwriting on this record is distributed across patterns that toy with your assumptions of the probable direction the track could take and leave you absolutely stunned. There are moments where clean vocals literally follow some of the most guttural sections with no change in atmosphere or rhythm and just when you get adjusted to what's being offered, the band push you down the waveform and end it all with bare minimum notes on the strings that leave you jarred. The song Unmask The Spectre is probably the truest representation of what YOB has done on this record and if you've still not heard this album, then this song is the representation of everything that the band has done on this record in entirety.

Having said that, track #4, Marrow is my personal favourite of the entire album. I cannot think of any other track that has sunk into my bones like Marrow in the past few years, it's probably the single most important track written during the past 4/5 years. It's simple ostentation of the sky with the band's vision and a dream like passage into their world, an absolute high point of the entire album. An other point to be dissected along with YOB's is the cover art. It reeks of calmness that the album eventually arrives to after the commotion and the mushroom cloud of distorted layers it creates around you, I'm in awe of the ease with which YOB has translated their thoughts into notes of such pure aural symphony. This album here will stand the test of time and as a monolith of the finest that the genre has to offer.