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YOB : Atma

It’s always been YOB’s intent to play the heaviest music around and so far so good, the band managed to live up to its outrageous claims.

It’s always been YOB’s intent to play the heaviest music around and so far so good, the band managed to live up to its outrageous claims. Atma is YOB’s second effort to be released on Profund Lore Records after the "small" cessation that was Middian legal-laugh(loath?)able experience.

The Great Cessation had shown YOB with the face of taking their music into more soul realizing experiences with bitumen-laden music that made it look as one of YOB's darkest recording ever. Atma somehow differentiates itself from its predecessor in the fact that the spirits seem to be lifted up a bit as the soul journey takes on other, higher, spheres.

Somehow it does even seem that YOB are actually coming full circle because in essence Atma feels much closer to Catharsis or Elaborations of Carbon than the previous releases under the Metal Blade era. Could it be that Scheidt gained some newfound freedom in expressing its art that he lacked when signed to the major label?

Most people are actually familiar with the Metal Blade records and thus often deem that The Illusion of Motion is YOB’s best album to date. Fact is they were much better distributed than the first previous albums respectively released on 12th Hour Records and Abstract Sounds Records and thus got a better impact on the audience. Still Catharsis may have very well been the pinnacle of YOB’s career. That was until Atma, which is very close if not superior.

Atma develops this Catharsis-like atmosphere on the very first two tracks, ‘Prepare the Ground’ and the eponymous track, where the word heavy seems to have been invented for this very band, tracks that also see Scheidt growling the way he did on his first two records. A nice “addition” if you ask me.

Then comes the last three tracks, longer, somehow less percussive but then a lot more mind-blowing in construction than their elders. Some people went as far as to complain that their elaboration was strikingly and deceptively similar to that of Neurosis, but hey, since Neurosis’ own Scott Kelly is featured on two tracks, what else could have you expected? But why complain anyway? This guest appearance adds more to the songs than it takes away from them. This also reads: though it may feel a bit different, it is still YOB you're listening to, let there be no doubt about it.

We don't rate albums at doom-metal.com because we feel that you should read our reviews instead of doing your math. But in the end, since this is all about who’s bigger and better, let me say that YOB did it again. In an already much impressive discography, here’s another gem that may well top the other ones and be your very own favorite album from the Eugene-based band. It’s so good it may well be this year’s Doom Metal biggest achievement.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Prepare the Ground
2. Atma
3. Upon the Sight of the Other Shore
4. Before We Dreamed of Two
5. Adrift in the Ocean

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the YOB bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-10-05 by Frédéric Cerfvol
Forever Autumn
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