Recorded at Gung Ho Studio in Eugene alongside longtime YOB comrade/iconic sound wizard, Billy Barnett and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege, Clearing The Path To Ascend is a wholly visceral listening experience that demands the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul. Rolling Stone ranked Clearing The Path To Ascend at the coveted #1 spot on their 20 Best Metal Albums Of 2014, noting “The seventh album from Oregon doom metal sky-gazers, YOB, … makes perfect bedfellows of volume and beauty, pain and transcendence,” further enthusing, “Opener ‘In Our Blood’ extends a simple riff into complex arches, tracing [vocalist Mike] Scheidt's voice as it moves from an exquisite falsetto to a death-metal bellow in the course of sixteen-minutes. And during the colossal closer ‘Marrow’ — possibly the best metal song of the year, one that uses low notes to play uplifting melodies — Scheidt sings ‘Time will fall inside the dream.’ His voice suddenly reaches out like a clarion's call, clear and telling and beautiful. It's a pronouncement from the living, a semaphore pointing into the future.” The record earned the #7 spot on Decibel’s Top 40 Albums Of 2014, the esteemed metal rag noting, “Mike Scheidt’s songwriting has never been stronger or more dynamic… a masterful return to form by an American doom powerhouse,” while Wondering Sound placed the offering at #9 among their 25 Best Metal Albums Of 2014 proclaiming, “The sound on Clearing the Path to Ascend is tactile: You can practically feel vocalist/guitarist Mike Scheidt's callused hands sliding up and down the guitar neck…This isn't a case of fixing what was broken; it's about becoming greater than they already were.” On their 2014 Best Heavy Metal Albums List,About.com lists YOB at number two, championing “Marrow” in particular, “The closing,sprawling eighteen-minute plus ‘Marrow’ takes every previously visited songwriting element on Clearing The Path To Ascend and brings it all together into beautifully melancholic combination of heaviness and melody, a fitting capstone to a gem of an album.” The record ranked in at number eleven on Stereogum’s Top 50 Albums Of 2014: “Clearing The Path To Ascend is YOB at their most frenzied (‘Nothing To Win’) as well as their gentlest (‘Marrow’), but taken as whole, its four songs feel like the seasons or the elements: powerful, eternal, wondrous, and bigger than all of us.” Added Steel For Brains, on their Best Of Heavy Music Releases Of 2014, “For all its heaviness, the album is disarmingly meditative, relying less on forcing the mood for the listener and entrusting that the human commonalities of love, loss, fear, and hope threaded throughout the music will render an altogether familiar place of comfort and strength within the listener.”
In related news, YOB will rumble the infrastructure of Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar this weekend on two special sold out appearances, the first set to take place tonight with Tombs and King Destroy, the second on Saturday with Occultation and Ecstatic Vision with additional US live rituals to be announced in the weeks to come.
12/12/2014 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY [info]
12/13/2014 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY [info]
YOB’s Clearing The Path To Ascend is available now
via Neurot Recordings HERE.
“…Mike Scheidt continues to drive his band YOB to new heights of epic, darkly spiritual doom without consideration for trends, self-consciousness or the whims of fickle consumers. At sixty-two minutes yet only four songs, Clearing The Path To Ascend rewards the patient while almost deliberately snubbing the ADD set… Scheidt uses art as catharsis, and that means you as listener as well if you want to take that journey with him.” – Metal Injection