Yob – The Unreal Never Lived
Metal Blade Records – MB3984-14537-2 – August 23rd, 2005
By Jason Jordan
You people were serious about Yob
. I did what I usually do, though, when I want to check out a band: I listened to about ten seconds of one of their songs, and quickly dismissed them due to my ever-present queue. Lo and behold, The Unreal Never Lived
showed up, and forced me to submerge myself in the latest from these Northwestern U.S., doom enthusiasts. Unsurprisingly, this particular album obliterates any lackluster reactions I had before I was given the privilege of listening to a full-length from this trio.
The word “consistent” gets lobbed from all directions whenever Yob
are involved, and I’m inclined to believe the preceding descriptor is applicable. I haven’t heard any of their previous outings, but they’ve been a unit for a decade and have unchained an LP every year since 2002. The Illusion of Motion
was met with critical acclaim, and The Unreal Never Lived
deserves the same accreditation. The Oregonians serve up four songs of sludgy doom, which last upwards of fifty minutes total, putting forth an incredible dichotomy that seldom works. The dichotomy I speak of is best explained by pontificating: “If it’s slow, then it can’t be riveting.” Not the case here. “Quantum Mystic” has a terrific lead-in, blending bare-bones instrumentation that somehow manages to keep me on the edge of my seat. The repetitious hook serves as the bait until full-on distortion swallows the listener whole, and the implementation of the stop/start technique only heightens tension and curiosity. I’m not quite as taken with the vocals as I am the music, however, because the raspy straining hasn’t ever set well with me. They aren’t so much an affliction as they are a momentary displeasure, but still, Yob
are successful at keeping the attention focused away from their blemishes. And parts of The Unreal Never Lived
are indescribably beautiful. Whereas “Quantum Mystic” is kind of upbeat, “Grasping Air” is more in touch with pure doom, and the mangled vocals are a nice touch. “Kosmos” is agreeable, too, and is the last stop on the ten-minute song route, due to the fact that the closing number “The Mental Tyrant” concludes after a whopping twenty-one minutes. The vocals don’t even enter the foray until ten minutes have passed, but that’s not something you’ll lament.
definitely stand on their own here, and their most recent is not only proof of expert know-how, but it’s also unbelievably heavy
. When all is said and done, this is fifty minutes of precise doom that is fully capable of silencing the naysayer. As for me, I’ve decided to rummage through their back catalog, and I believe you should too. Even if life sucks, Yob
Official Yob Website
Official Metal Blade Records Website