The Unreal Never Lived
(Metal Blade) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 "The Unreal Never Lived" is YOB's second Metal Blade release, and their fourth overall, seemingly releasing an album in the cold months of every Autumn since 2002. If you are unfamiliar with YOB, as I was, be prepared to be consumed in a wall of sound so thick, it's suffocating. Their style of traditional doom metal consists of slow, brooding melodies and heavy distortion. The low-end (which is most everything on here) is brought to the forefront of the mix, so expect your speakers to rattle. Added to the pure doominess is a variety of influences, most notably High on Fire, Neurosis, and anything sludgy.
This record presents some vocal surprises, containing a mixture of distant growls, yells, and a distinct "clean" voice that sounds forced from the throat, and provides the only sound on here that will come out of your tweeters. All are courtesy of guitarist Mike Scheidt, who transitions from style to style within the course of a note. Bassist Isamu handles the vocals on the final track, "Mental Tyrant," in much the same yell/growl style as the others. This twenty minute song begins as the most melodic of the bunch, picking up the tempo at times, and having a more epic and contrived feel, despite its length. This four song disc drags like any other droning doom release, but it offers some fine moments beyond the norm, and will find a receptive audience with their timely sound.