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Middian
Age Eternal
May 2007
Released: 2007, Metal Blade
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: J. Campbell

As has been widely reported, Middian was born of the ashes of the epic doom outfit Yob. Following a rhythm section exodus in 2006, frontman Mike Sheidt decided to forge on under a new moniker. AGE ETERNAL is the first product of this venture. With an album consisting of 5 tracks clocking in at roughly 58 minutes, one could assume that Middian is following the same crooked, plodding, Vicodin-addled path laid by Yob; but Scheidt and his cohorts have created something a bit more focused…and much more sinister.



This is not to imply that Middian is a major departure…that’s far from the case. But whereas Yob used sprawling spacescapes and warm sonic weight to flesh out their prominent stoner vibe, Middian utilizes glacial riffs to exude a sense of anguish and foreboding. This is traditional doom played with an abrasive funeral doom bent, complete with vocals that range from ghoulish, echo-soaked wails to torturous screams. Some sludgy, post-rock angularities sneak their way in as well, giving parts of the album a slight High On Fire vibe, minus the shred. But it’s at these times when AGE ETERNAL’s footing slips a bit; Middian is at their best when churning out straight-on, crushing doom tracks.



The paranoid dirges “Blood of Icons” and “Age Eternal” are sorrowful masterpieces, wrapped in a fiery-hot production that threatens to fry your speakers at any second. Loaded with emotional heft, these tracks are nearly flawless. Then “The Celebrant” brings about the aforementioned rock-isms, but unfortunately, fails to impress. The uptempo stomp tacked onto the back end of the song is sufficiently horn-raising, but it kills the molasses-like momentum. By this time, the album has already topped the 40 minute mark, and there’s just not that much energy left over for the last track: a bloated, self-indulgent jam session that basically amounts to a fifteen-minute throwaway.



All aside, AGE ETERNAL is a solid album, and a confident step in a (slightly) new direction. Middian will undoubtedly appeal to Yob’s installed base, despite the altered tone. The title track is a perfect display of their tremendous upside; hopefully this band has more of these oppressive monoliths up their collective sleeve. If I were a betting man…
Track Listing

1. Dreamless Eye
2. The Blood of Icons
3. Age Eternal
4. The Celebrant
5. Sink To The Center

Lineup

Mike Sheidt
Will Lindsay
Scott Headrick


Next review: » Midian - Thrashology
Previous review: » Mictlantecuhtli - Warriors of the Black Sun





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