Released: 2004, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
The music of Eugene, Oregon’s YOB is an exercise in patience, to say the least. THE ILLUSION OF MOTION contains only four tracks, yet clocks in at a whopping 56 minutes! The title track which closes the album is 26 minutes long itself (what does YOB’s live set look like?!) and takes more twists and turns than a bag full of snakes but I’ll be damned if all that doesn’t matter. Along with the latest from Sunn O))), THE ILLUSION OF MOTION is the best doom album I have heard in quite some time. This album was hyped out the wazoo and deserves everything that was said about it. Mike Scheidt’s vocals alternate between a mix of Ozzy Osbourne, a less whiny Geddy Lee and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction to ground-shaking growls that will peel the paint off the wall. His hazy riffing is almost painfully slow and the fuzzed out bass of Isamu Sato coupled with Travis Foster’s cymbal work sets in motion a long and winding road into sludgy doom hell. The stars must have aligned when YOB hit the studio because THE ILLUSION OF MOTION is damn near perfect. The way these three come together on record is like a match made in heaven.
“Ball of Molten Lead” begins excruciatingly slowly and then builds up to a solid riff. Sato’s bass will test your woofers’ capabilities on this track as the frequency is so low, I began to think that urban myth about crapping yourself was true! “Exorcism of The Host” and “Doom #2” really show Scheidt’s vocal range, as his highs are in the Osbourne/Lee/Farrell range and his lows could send the death metal elite running for cover. “Doom #2” is SOOO blissfully heavy at times yet atmospheric at others that it could be one of the best doom tracks I have EVER heard! Sato’s bass is never distorted for the sake of heaviness nor does it plod along. It is set just perfectly. Ditto for Foster, who seems to know the delicate balance between skin-bashing and styled playing. The title track is a psychedelic-infused riff monster that holds the album together. Many listeners may not be able to sit through the extended sections of near silence and riffing that is slower than molasses in January but the ultimate reward lies at the end of the song, as a whirlwind of distortion ushers in the same simple riff that opens the track before crashing out in a tornado of hits from Foster.
If I had to pick one fault with this album, it would be the length of the tracks. Twenty six minutes?!?! Still, landing YOB is a major coup for Metal Blade whose latest signings have been a bit hit-and-miss. YOB will not get the coverage of Shadows Fall, nor will they have a breakout hit like Lacuna Coil, but to metal fans around the world, take it from me…YOB has arrived!!
KILLER KUTS: ALL!