Wednesday, January 22, 2014

…like liquid diamonds fall: YOB – ‘Catharsis’

With stunning, more suitable cover art courtesy of Aaron Edge, Yob’s seminal, long out-of-print masterpiece, ‘Catharsis’, is once again available to the masses complete with a fine-tuned remastering job at the hands of Tad Doyle from the depths of his Witch Ape Studio, thus reuniting the Lumbar trio. Where Yob’s debut, ‘Elaborations of Carbon’, was an instantly gratifying slab of psychedelic doom orbiting the Earth from amidst the exosphere, ‘Catharsis’ achieved the impossible by pushing the band’s sound into the aether and beyond the confines of interplanetary space.

Uncompromisingly heavy and cosmically spacey, the trio of Mike Scheidt, Isamu Sato, and Gabe Morley have, from the band’s inception, redefined and explored the possibilities of doom and psychedelic metal. Despite a couple of lineup changes from within the band’s rhythm section beginning with the release of their third album, ‘The Illusion of Motion’, Yob has—under the sage-like guidance of Scheidt—continued to expand their sound and push the boundaries of heavy music. And though Yob has carved out an unmistakable and indelible sonic “fingerprint” due to Scheidt’s unique vocals and riffs, each and every release has an essence of its own, and ‘Catharsis’ in particular seems to resonate strongly with many.

With only three tracks and a runtime near the fifty minute mark, ‘Catharsis’ is an abomination not restricted to the earthly confines of space and time. Each song is a sprawling journey suffused with tempo and tonal fluctuations keeping the tunes both wholly immersive and undeniably immediate while additionally providing the illusion of brevity. Simply put: ‘Catharsis’ is an engaging listen from the initial feint percussive notes provided by Morley on album-opener “Aeons” to the demoniac shrieks and wails of Scheidt during the closing frenzy of the title-track, “Catharsis”.

And while a reissue of ‘Catharsis’ has been long overdue, a remastered edition, at first, seems unnecessary. That is…until you press play. Though the effect is not completely obvious or overwhelming, a cursory comparison reveals a greater degree of clarity which ultimately enhances the overall listening experience. With Tad’s masterful production contributions notably established with the recording of two of the year’s best albums, Uzala’s ‘Tales of Blood & Fire’ and portions of Lumbar’s ‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’, it should come as no surprise that the man brings a sonic lucidity to the proceedings without sacrificing heft in the least. Pick up the cd from Profound Lore Records or, if you’re a vinyl junky, preorder the upcoming vinyl release from Relapse Records. Highly essential…



Profound Lore

Relapse Records

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