YOB – Atma

By Gruesome Greg

Just from looking at the track listing, you can tell that this is a YOB album. Five tunes lasting fifty-five minutes, at an average of eleven per song sounds about right.

“Prepare the Ground” opens with a couple minutes of slow, sludgy riffage before Mike Scheidt comes in with that trademark wail. He doesn’t quite hit the high notes like he used to, but early returns indicate that he’s singing more in his old style than the death growl often used on The Great Cessation.

The title track begins with the sound of running water [sounds more like rain to me – Tha Ed], and then glides into a slow, stomping riff that rings out during the verses and doubles down for the chorus. Oh and there’s that death metal scream again… There’s a feedback-laden scratching later on that breaks up some slow, spaced-out riffs. The riffs are cool, but the scratch is kinda irritating. Not digging this tune as much.

“Before We Dreamed of Two” is the longest tune on here, stretching over a massive sixteen minutes. Another slow stomper, as expected, some decent heavy riffs on this one. About halfway through, it slows down completely, just a lone guitar ringing out over the sound of the tides before Scheidt lays down some drawn-out, monotone moans for a minute or two, before another slow ‘n heavy assault takes form.

At seven and a half minutes, “Upon the Sight of the Other Shore” is the shortest song on here. It’s a little more straight-forward, with that
classic YOB crunch, and a trippy, haunting guitar solo. I dig it.

“Adrift in the Ocean” is another epic, 13-and-a-half minutes worth. By this point, I am definitely detecting an aquatic theme. Starts off with a seafaring guitar riff awash in cymbal fills, followed by an echoing bass solo. Hey, this kinda sounds like Isis. After a few minutes, a solid riff comes crashing in like a 12-foot wave—still no vocals at this point, not until Scheidt announces his presence with a mighty roar. This is probably the coolest tune on the record, ending on a high tide, erm, high note…

A solid addition to their eclectically heavy catalogue, Atma will appeal to any and all fans of YOB’s previous work, no doubt about it.

(Profound Lore)

Atma will be released by Profound Lore on August 16, 2011.

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.