YOB
Atma


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
August 16th, 2011 | 40 replies | 10,374 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: YOB go through their unique and highly addictive motions.

Since the release of Elaborations of Carbon back in 2001, YOB, the extreme doom outfit from Eugene, Oregon have traveled quite a long and interesting journey within the seemingly silent subterranean oceans of doom metal. While their debut was plain decent in the sense that every band has to start from somewhere, their 2003 follow-up, Catharsis, excelled in showcasing the hidden link that binds extreme doom to the blues. 2004’s The Illusion of Motion aptly set the foundations of the band’s trademark sound, while 2005’s The Unreal Never Lived was a immense exhibition of how extreme doom, psychedelic influences and rock n’ roll can work in favor of each other. Just a few specs of time after reaching its creative peak, the band experienced internal conflicts and split for quite a while. However, a renewed line-up was assembled, and the release of The Great Cessation in 2009 was hailed throughout the globe as probably their best and most extreme work to date. Precisely 2 years after, YOB are releasing their 6th album, Atma, calling for their cult following to pay homage to their new effort.

In Atma, Yob prolifically dust out nearly all the patents that made them such an intimate and special band during the past ten years. Throughout the 5 songs which bare a markedly extended temporal length, the characteristic and crushing/oriental/sludgy riffs of Jon Scheidt are once again laid to settle slowly over the powerful yet ritualistic rhythm section of Travis Foster (drums) and Aaron Reisberg (bass). The lead guitar melodies are attractively psychedelic and on par with the rhythm guitars as per usual (the divine melody that opens “Adrift in the Ocean” comes in mind), while a great deal of them is of oriental origin as well and in accordance with the rhythm guitar riffs. The record’s most obvious advent lies in the tremendous enhancement of Scheidt’s solo singing (both guttural and “clean”) and his fruitful collaboration with Scott Kelly, of Neurosis fame, in the songs “Before We Dreamed of Two” and “Adrift in the Ocean”. Scheidt uses his clean vocals as the psychedelic substrate upon which the soothing voice of Kelly spreads like butter on bread or, in other words, as a high-pitch antithesis to Kelly’s “sub terra” vocals. The final outcome could be described as an awkwardly beautiful doom metal choir. Furthermore, the songs’ structure is adjusted in such a way, in order for Kelly’s vocals to work as a silent go-between between the past and future intensity bursts within the song’s arrangements.

The ritualistic nature of the music is heavily sustained by the overall concept of the lyrics. This time, Scheidt is readily focused on the importance of an individual in finding its true self (Atma in Sanskrit language). This personal voyage through the experiences and visions of the mind does not account for the occurrence of physical phenomena as self reference. The nature of the lyrics’ concept is more than welcome for those who faithfully observed YOB’s previous work, as Scheidt has used several abstract concepts as inspiration for his lyrics, explicitly cited in the main titles of previous albums. Except from the lyrics, the record’s mystic aura is also favored by the sound production. The sound of guitars is simply awesome and as sludgy as it can get. The rhythm section is heavy and majestic as well, while the vocals have the appropriate volume level, adding the proper dynamics to the effect of music.

Despite the album’s merits – all songs are memorable and with good replay depth – the elements that would assess Atma as substantially different with respect to the band’s previous records, are rather missing. The riffs and the characteristic structure of the melodies, while they are quite original with respect to the genre’s overall outtake in general, they have been used in previous records by the band in a merely as-is basis. In addition, the band’s song writing, while it is solid overall, it stands relatively far from the sheer excellence of previous albums. Despite all that, Atma is ideal for establishing a great first contact with the band’s work. However, for long time fans, this record has a high chance of turning out to be a very slow grower, as an indirect consequence of the aforementioned arguments.

In retrospect, with Atma YOB go through their unique and highly addictive motions, while their 10-year course of continuous musical advents within the genre of extreme doom metal seems to come to an end. This is not a bad thing altogether, considering the overall quality of Atma. Inevitably, from a temporal point further, all bands cease to further enrich their unique sound, while they refine/recycle it in efforts to come (that is if they don’t change it from its very foundations) and YOB couldn’t be an exception, for better or for worse. Whatever the case may be, the sure thing is that YOB won’t go down to decay without a fight and Atma is the first piece of hard evidence to substantiate that notion.



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user ratings (106)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Greg Fisher STAFF (4.5)
Due to non-linear, complex song structure and captivating dynamics, “Atma” feels like a concept ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Prepare the Ground:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdxiEmvHVvI

Atma:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4zydh-PcGA&feature=related

Before we dreamed of two:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ3QYobKnsc&feature=related

Upon the sight of the shore:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCw_wT3QvA8&feature=related

Adrift in the Ocean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnijxVBQ1A4&feature=related





Constructive criticism is more than welcome!

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

iFghtffyrdmns
August 16th 2011



7047 Comments


another good review for this, nicely done.
i don't know jack shit about doom but I am once again, almost convinced to give this a shot.

ZombicidalMan
August 16th 2011



1729 Comments


Nice review, agree with pretty much all of it. Described the music well, too. Can't help but think you had a thesaurus at hand though...

And, @ iFghtffyrdmns - this is a great album, but it might not be the best place to start with doom metal. Then again, jumping straight in can work pretty well. Good luck either way.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Can't help but think you had a thesaurus at hand though...



i didn't know about thesaurus, until you mentioned it man :-).

English is not my native language, however this review was written without the aid of any dictionary.

i got this pro, partly from reading good Sputnik reviews for the last 1-2 years, i guess... :-)

Oh, and i proofread like hell lol

ZombicidalMan
August 16th 2011



1729 Comments


Wow, awesome review then. Wish I could give out more than one pos, haha.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



7144 Comments


Man the Users are taking over the feature page - the Staffs must be on holiday or something! Great review mate, have a pos! =)

bastni
August 16th 2011



19 Comments


Nice review.

I would love writing some review for Sputnik ( especially Brazilian bands, my place) but I think the words wouldn't come that well.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@ bastni


Thanx man.

In the site's forum there is a thread that's used for proofreading reviews:

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=577035


I think the words wouldn't come that well.

I had the same problem at first, but this should not discourage you from writing reviews.

Plus, keep reading as many STAFF (for the most part) reviews as possible, to increase your vocabulary tank.



Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



10012 Comments


"English is not my native language, however this review was written without the aid of any dictionary."

Holy cow, man! I'm even more impressed with this review, then; keep it up. I totally want to check this out because of you :D

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



10012 Comments


For constructive criticism, I do think this one sentence reads a bit awkwardly.

"the element that will explicitly ascribe a specific identity to Atma with respect to the band’s previous records is rather missing."

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for the feedback man.

You are right, it does read awkward.

I changed it a little bit, i hope the meaning of that sentence is much more explicit now.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



16264 Comments


Good review

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

rockandmetaljunkie
August 16th 2011



3302 Comments


Well done Voivod.
Another good written review.
Have a pos

HenchmanOfSanta
August 16th 2011



1853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, good album. A step up from the Great Cessation, although none of these songs are as good as Burning the Altar.

MO
August 16th 2011



18267 Comments


Good review, I'm checking this out now, really good stuff.

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks guys.


A step up from the Great Cessation

I humbly beg to differ, The Great Cessation was so thoroughly demented, i think it shares with Catharsis the No2 place behind The Unreal Never Lived, my physical copy of The Great Cessation was nearly damaged after countless listening sessions.......

HenchmanOfSanta
August 16th 2011



1853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I find most of the stuff here about even with most of TGC, but still find Silence of Heaven boring. I won't argue with you about it though, because when I said that in my review you said


You totally missed the essence of the song my friend.

This is pure noise/doom bliss.
And I'm going to assume you still feel the same way.

eggsvonsatan
August 16th 2011



1087 Comments


Excellent review, especially for a non-native speaker.

BrownPark
August 16th 2011



158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.5 sounds right.
and yeah fucking fantastic review for a non-native speaker...christ man this is really good writing haha

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

And I'm going to assume you still feel the same way.

most def!



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