Year : 2011
Genre : Sludge Doom
Label : Profound Lore
Origin : United States
Rating : 8.2 / 10
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Oregon based sludge splasher Yob already has a dedicated fanbase, and it is not without reason, of course. The superficial listener would assume that this trio delivers this extreme sludge metal to eradicate the will to live, but this could not be farer from the truth. Sludge seems to be an art form that is quite suitable to confront your beginner or black belt level demons through the register this music takes place on. While the rules of this style are relatively rigorous, its interpretation field is limitless.
The direction of the sludge can happen for the cleansing, and, for the defilement of the autonomous soul / awareness that connects with it. Some may connect with the filth so they can be free from it when functioning onwards after the listening experience, while others may be depressed by it, by falsely thinking that sludge's agenda is to depress. Nah. Proper sludge simply does not give a sear shit what you do with it. The best part of Yob's latest is that it is this exact kind of - paradoxically enough - elegant nihil-sludge, while the only shortcoming you will likely experience as an appreciator of sludge, is this : the five monstrous tracks of this LP show minor - and ONLY minor - inconsistency regarding the power they are pushing your face into the sludge with. Read on to find more on how much of your spiritual integrity will remain after colliding with this here sledgehammer baby.
The basic methodology the release is employing is easy to grasp unto, as this one is a methodology of a lazy, but quite-quite solid sledgehammer logic. A sludge sobriety that has elaborate tools in its possession it can corner your musical awareness with. After an acceptable and risk free "let's take this decent sludge riff to its logical conclusion" opening track, the second track, called Atma, has all the chance in the world to alter your mood dramatically. It either wrecks it, or cleanses your soul proper. It is up to you, it is your right and decision to select the mark you want the music to leave on you, the content simply needs to render the pattern and the route, and the feeling you walk through on it with, is yours to shape to, so it can shape you.
Atma does render the route, no problem : the opening notes of the first riff are evidently out to administer the hurt real bad, but, their intent to utterly crush is super-obvious, and it is hard to take them serious. The riff, elegantly enough, realizes this deliberate deficit in its character, and the shady thing offers you a hand to shake, via adding a consecutive element to itself, an element that has a friendly, almost tender vibe to it. A tender vibe with such fragile of a duration that you will end up wondering if it really happened at all. Conclusion : when you reach out to shake the hand, only THEN you will see it is holding a knife, though it did NOT, when you started to reach out to accept the handshake. This is the kind of feeling the riff goes for, and this is a much rarer sensation to experience musically, than it is to be crushed by a riff. There are dozens of great riffs on this planet that crush proper, but not many that do deceive masterfully. The LP's second track gives you such a riff, and also it gives this delicately deceiving musical experience.
This titular track, Atma, is great from another point of view, as well. It features an additional sequence that is likely to put a mark in a part of you that you did not know you had. The middle build of the song consists of an extremely down tuned guitar, chugging proudly and infinitely bitterly about the twisted kind of beauty it finds in the sharply defined misery he is devoted representer and slave of, but, here is the catch : this tormented guitar has brought with itself an army of undead just for good measure, and, to make sure you take its meaning seriously. In the middle section of the track's fabric, this almost tragicomic, intent menace of this seemingly solitary, twisted and tormented down tuned chug gets a short, complimentary support from the sonic power of the ENTIRE band, from time to time. They draw short, sharp, and powerful riff patterns, as light would slap the darkness, just to reveal random average tormented zombie faces, and, when darkness falls again, only the chug remains. The chug with a new resonance, one that rides on a fresh promise, a promise that the chug, in fact, might STILL not be alone at all. You can't be sure until the twisted kind of light decides to show up again.
The track Upon the Sight of the Other Shore has a healthy amount of inventive surprises in store for you, as well. This song, while spouting out a sludge that has the capacity to make fun of-, to submit to-, and to soulrape the vibe of folk at the same time, features an impressive vocal contribution with such legitimate howling incorporated in it that you have ever hoped (?) to hear, while, in the later portion of the track, the primal riff suddenly finds itself dwelling in the comfort of madness.
The track Adrift in the Ocean features a set of strong, easily decipherable musical ideas once again being taken to their respective logical conclusions along a well balanced "let's bury hope for fun and see how that feels like" style, and the sludge never loses a continuous, elegant narrative it is riding on. A narrative that exhibits a propensity to construct hope, but demands the right to kill it upon interception. This is the kind of sludge that has a well defined awareness of the entertainment value of its own, intimate and expressed sentiments, and, as such, it does not lose from its charisma by committing the mistake of over-repetition. Yob's sludging is well varied, yet the sludging in Adrift in the Ocean sounds to be one of the most flamboyant sequences on the spin.
This awareness of the mere efficiency of the sludge is almost ever-present on the record, and moments of less appeal and related-, shallower sequences of content-richness are hard to stumble upon, fortunately. Yob's Atma is a sludge pile big enough to wrap a soul around, and also one that no doubt demands a multitude of spins to reveal all aspects of its doubtlessly strong and ripe character.
Rating : 8.2 / 10
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