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Disillusion of Doom - 100%

Deadwired, June 26th, 2006

YOB's career was short, but amazing. Their impact, though now not considerable, in a few years this band will be emulated and adored by a plethora of bands to come. They're the Stoner version of SunnO))), and "The Illusion of Motion" is their best work of the entire catalogue.

First of all, I'd just like to preface the actual review by saying YOB, Hyatari and Boris are the bands that got me into Doom and Stoner Metal. YOB, however, are the main reason, solely because of their ethic. Whereas most bands resort to droning out a section to ridiculous, and oftentimes ludicrously boring lengths, YOB have put all that to rest. The songwriting structure of this particular band isn't progressive at all, it's just that the passages include so much that in order to have a complete repetition, it takes more than ten or twenty minutes. YOB's strength is that the songwriting is absolutely phenominal, as are the elements that contribute to their personality.

Almost immediately, people will tell you that the easiest way to distinguish YOB is by the sound of frontman Mike Sheidt's voice, which although charastically completely non-Metal, is perfect for this album. The nasal, often vo-coded shrill cry of his standard clean vocals perfectly contrasts against his hard-as-steel growl-scream halfbreed, giving YOB a conservative appeal that recalls Black Sabbath in places, and Sleep in others.

Another thing setting YOB apart from their contemporaries-and especially on this release-is their skill when it comes to songwriting savvy. Although YOB's effect arsenal doesn't extend beyond a flanger and a wah pedal, the feelings they manage to evoke and the completely crushing sound produced creates a very distinct and dense heaviness that's hard to come about nowadays. Opener "Ball of Molten Lead" trudges along with a devouring groove that manages to insert melody after off-kilter and psychadelic melody, making it without a doubt the most memorable song on the album. "Exorcism of the Host", however, breaks the norm for a bit and relies upon a massively heavy and destructive riff throughout the initial few minutes of the song, along with some hellish growling. As the vocoded water-effect vocals make a second appearance, the music begins to layer and evolve into something more than just a steam-rolling riff.

"Doom #2," however, surprised me by adhering to a more liberal Stoner ethic, rather than Doom. The tempo is mid-paced to fast, though never breaking Thrash boundaries. The vocal work here is again nearly perfect, and the riffs sound like a dense wall, never breaking momentum or their key sound. "The Illusion of Motion" is the beating heart of this album, though, and it's a title-track for a good reason. Implicating elements from all the earlier songs, it manages to create an incredibly dense and psychadelic wall, utilizing some fairly intense sustain and crunch, while managing to balance tempo and relate it directly to whether or not it's heavy or just plain boring. The vocalwork is at it's best on this track, showing Sheidt replicating another famous Mike-Mike Patton. Things end on a note similar to "Doom #2" with an almost up-beat freak-out of effects that sound like a bad acid trip during a thunder storm.

YOB secured their place in the history of Metal with this release, and I'm sure when Age is upon us, our asses will be kicked again. Amazing album.