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Yob - Our Raw Heart Award winner

Our Raw Heart
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 18 June 2018, 3:16 AM

YOB have turned into legends over the years because they do nothing but releases one high quality album after another.  It should come as no surprise but their eighth studio album, “Our Raw Heart,” doesn’t show them slowing down. If anything, it shows them getting better.  Everything from the riffs to the vocals are showcasing the band still at the top of their game with no signs of falling over the edge. The opening track, “Ablaze,” features riffs so muddy that even the most die hard of sludge fans would bow before these mighty riffs.  Mike Scheidt only knows how to write kick ass riffs after riffs; every note he plays has a purpose and a greater part of the overall song.  Nothing is wasted that could be used, and nothing is used that could be a considered a waste. From 7:45 all the way to past the 10 minute mark, the entire band just jams out, sending wave after wave of sonic density to beat the shores of your senses.

The drums on “Original Face,” just force themselves thru the song but still find a place to keep the tempo.  Scheidt’s vocals are a rasping scream that shovels away any wreckage still left.  He almost died last year and perhaps some of that experience has found its way out through him and into this record.  At the very least, his songwriting and performance is definitely as fresh as ever.The highlight of the album has to be “The Beauty of Fallen Leaves,”. It is such a well thought out and beautiful song.  When people tell me Metal is just noise, songs like this instantly prove them wrong.   At over 16 minutes in length, there isn’t a moment that goes by that I would skip. From the clean opening that builds to a heavy rumble to the melodic first stanza’s that fall seamlessly back into the layered clean bass and guitars, every piece is a part of the story and nothing should be missed.

The title track is another epic but whereas “Beauty..” features moods that shift like the tides of the sea, “Our Raw Heart,” is a melodic Doom set piece of a candlelight fantasia under the moon.  There isn’t as much vocals in this song, especially in the later half but it serves a sort of reminder that even Doom bands can jam out with their melancholy ways, adding layers of melodies that most Doom bands just don’t play. But these melodies, cosmic textures, and little details are what makes this album so special.  So many Doom bands can’t see the forest for the trees and only see (and play) their music thru smudged lenses.   Don’t misunderstand me here—this record is full of heavy riffs, slow dirges, and the downtrodden aspects of doom…but it is all held together with more spirit than people associate with the genre. In the end, YOB’s “Our Raw Heart,” is an instantly accessible Doom Metal album that will engage any fan of this style but filled with enough depth to keep the listener busy for months.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Ablaze
2. The Screen
3. In Reverie
4. Lungs Reach
5. Beauty In Falling Leaves
6. Original Face
7. Our Raw Heart
Mike Scheidt – Guitars, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records


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Edited 23 February 2019

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