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Toaster Mantis View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: YOB
    Posted: June 22 2014 at 05:38
A while ago I got my hands on Illusion of Motion, and I gotta say I don't understand the low ratings for the YOB's records on the main site.

Sure, their music is rather inaccessible and the vocals take a while getting used to but they're among the most ambitious and genuinely out-there of the many psychedelic doom metal groups to pop up recently. Their compositions are very long and expansive with some extremely ambitious tension-and-release structures, the lyrics showing a keen insight into esoteric religious traditions too. It's not music that's easy to listen to,  but it feels more like a vast metaphysical journey into the hidden corners of the mind on a more convincing level than many similar groups even attempt to.

They're also nowhere as much a 1970s throwback as usual for psych-doom artists, incorporating quite a few modern influences most notably Neurosis without ever getting as monotonously bleak as that group's lesser material sometimes falls into.

In short, YOB comes across as a band that should be more up most prog-rock fans' sleeves than the vast majority of psych-doom... again, I'm a fan of that kind of metal but much of it falls back on emphasizing atmosphere over songwriting or borrows too much from 1960s/1970s bands for my liking. So, again, why the low ratings?

Edited by Toaster Mantis - June 23 2014 at 03:43
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2014 at 07:25
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:


Sure, their music is rather inaccessible and the vocals take a while getting used to. So, again, why the low ratings?

I don't know the band, but perhaps you've answered your own question there?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2014 at 03:27
One would think that this website's userbase consists in large part of people who deliberately seek out challenging and not immediately accessible music, though. Sure, YOB's vocalist Mike Scheidt takes a while getting used to.... but so do Jon Anderson and Geddy Lee. Their sound might likewise be rather abrasive and the compositions command a high degree of concentration from the listener... but the same thing applies to much of King Crimson's output.

There's even quite a few fans of Swans here and their music is famous for being wilfully difficult. Haven't looked at their records' ratings, though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2014 at 01:46
I did not know YOB was even on here.  I could swear I saw a thread where they were rejected.  But perhaps I have them confused with another band.

I have only Atma.  Honestly hasn't made enough of an impression for me to even give an opinion on it, but I don't dislike it...  Certainly seems it must be better than the 2.82 rating it has here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2014 at 03:18
I've only heard Illusion of Motion in its entirety, supposedly their newer records aren't quite as good being rather shticky in places. Even then, that one album is one of the most interesting in that style I've heard in a long while. I actually imagine that prog-rock fans would take easier to them than metal fans, what with their songs frequently reaching the 20 minute mark and being extremely "slow burn" in approach to narrative songwriting.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2014 at 03:32
I feel they are similar to Om and Naam
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2015 at 15:00
Time to resurrect a thread that's laid dormant for months...


... for Heathen Harvest, a webzine that started out covering industrial/neofolk but has now branched out into several other genres including metal and psychedelia, has by now posted a lengthy analysis of YOB's last album Clearing the Path to Ascend.

The article especially goes into the philosophical and religious concepts behind the album, something that's always been one of the most interesting parts of YOB's music as that well realized aesthetic is what holds their very ambitious music together.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 01:47
Well the only album that has more than 7 ratings is Atma and that is 15 which is nowhere near enough to draw any conclusion. I read the first review and its very well written ( J-Man) and very fair to the band. He only gives it 2 stars but encouragingly suggests that others may enjoy it more than he does. In otherwords he is not dismissing it out of hand. The other reviewers give it 3 stars. Overall 2.83 is not bad as it stands and means it can be considered 'good'.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 03:26
The reviews on M-A are way more positive, though, since I imagine psych-rock fans would take more to YOB than metalheads would. Not just the lengthy ambitious multi-section epic space trip songwriting, but also how like stereotypical for stoner doom bands they're more "hippie" than "biker" in their visual aesthetic and lyrical ideology.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 14:26
Yeah but the point is that very few people have expressed an opinion here rather than loads have posted negative reviews. Anyway look at the top 100 and then decide if this is a band that is likely to get a lot of positive reviews here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 14:53
In 2002 I was in a bad place with a relationship break up, so didn't have any interest or wanting for anything alternative from this year.
Well I've clearly missed out! Wouldn't say they are my new favourite band just yet, but colour me intrigued to hear more than "Elaborations of Carbon"!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2015 at 03:31
I actually still haven't heard other albums of theirs than The Illusion of Motion in depth, though the band did perform Clearing the Path to Ascend in its entirety when I saw them live last November plus a handful of songs from throughout their discography, but I get the impression that's their most highly regarded album. Either that one or The Unreal Never Lived.

Your anecdote, by the way, reminds me that I went through a pretty bad depression last December so I've taken up meditation in this year and I reckon I should try doing it to YOB as background. I imagine that'd be quite the experience. Their lyrics are apparently strongly inspired by the life and work of Alan Watts, to the point their latest album even includes sound clips of his lectures.
"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook
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