YOB
Clearing The Path To Ascend


2.8
good

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 5th, 2014 | 56 replies


Release Date: 09/02/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The new standard for heaviness in elevator music.

Clearing the Path to Ascend is YOB at their most minimal and primal. That is it; nothing more and nothing less. The psych flourishes are gone. Their limber song structures have been replaced with a single reverberating thread that is pulled taught at either end. This is traditional doom at its most austere. There is no room for any outside emotion in Mike Scheidt and Co.'s bleak tapestry of riffs. In a way it is almost suffocating. Where a band like Swans' most recent record is claustrophobic under its own haughty weight, YOB create that same aural neurosis with only a handful of slow, lumbering chords. It's a little much, but metal has never been about subtlety.

Clearing the Path to Ascend walks the fine line between affection and tedium. From the very get go, YOB masterfully hone their bleak and desolate atmosphere and wield it like a battering ram. Every droning power chord is encumbered with an incalculable weight that shakes its very foundations to the point where they noticeably are about to crumble. Yet, whenever the songs feel as if they are finally about to break loose in their full fury, they remain stubbornly attached to their hulking restraints, bolting them in place from above. It's the same game perfected by Earth at their most droning. Yet, where albums like Earth 2 and Hibernaculum thrived in the tension created by withholding that singular moment of rapturous crescendo, Clearing the Path to Ascend drowns. There is no release. There is no great revealing. All we are left with is four songs with four riffs. Mighty as those riffs may be, they go nowhere. Sure, they are nice, and yes, they are heavy as can be, but there is no real payoff after investing on average over fifteen minutes per song. Because of this, throughout its course Clearing the Path to Ascend evolves from a powerful force into nothing more than a gently recurring note in the background. When boiled down to its essence, YOB have set the bar for heaviness in elevator music.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
September 5th 2014


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

Everyone was so excited about this, and I just didn't get it. I thought maybe I was missing something. Now I know that I wasn't.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


17224 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

On a song to song basis it's like, "oh, hey, this is kinda cool", but as an album it's more like, "oh, hey, is this still on? I totally forgot this was even playing."


Mad.
September 5th 2014


4056 Comments


That summary is glorious

I started listening to the first track and got bored + didn't like the vocals much, this review probably sums up a whole listen

ExplosiveOranges
September 5th 2014


3599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol, dat summary. Might give this a shot anyway.

Digging: Apparitionist - Godspeed

manosg
September 5th 2014


6511 Comments


Sweet review. Gonna check this one soon enough even though your review lowered my expectations significantly.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

deezer666
September 5th 2014


35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules.

Digging: Cloudkicker - Live with Intronaut

a7c7e7
September 5th 2014


37 Comments


"Mighty as those riffs may be, they go nowhere. Sure, they are nice, and yes, they are heavy as can be, but there is no real payoff after investing on average over fifteen minutes per song."

a bit redundant, maybe you'd want to combine them somehow? sweet review though, gonna check this out.

DominionMM1
September 5th 2014


10215 Comments


"When boiled down to its essence, YOB have set the bar for heaviness in elevator music."

lol damn

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Idk guys. This album has well over 80/100 on metacritic last time I checked. Not their best release, but it rules nonetheless. I get the critcism that riffs can get quite stale at points.

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2014


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i really like 'marrow', the rest isn't as good

YetAnotherBrick
September 5th 2014


4504 Comments


I've only heard The Unreal Never Lived, and I remember really liking it, but I think i'll skip this one

Digging: Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

That's not a good move. Marrow is excellent. I also really dig Nothing to Win.

Tyrael
September 5th 2014


20945 Comments


That summary is pretty funny considering it is coming from the guy with arguably the most boring username on the site ^^

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Wizard
September 5th 2014


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree with the review. It was uneventful the second time through.

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Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


31475 Comments


If you could explain the connection between online usernames and a band's style of music Tyrael, I'd be all ears

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

MO
September 5th 2014


18986 Comments


yay a thomas review. was looking forward to this now I'm not so sure

tempest--
September 5th 2014


14380 Comments


listened to the stream a little while ago, I thought it was decent. artwork is badass.

PiedradeLuna
September 5th 2014


230 Comments


Good review, agree with the points but I think the overall elevator music analogy is a tad harsh. While I get it can just be jammed in the background and be forgotten I'd still kind of love to be in an elevator that played YOB personally

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


3472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Good review, although I like this more than you do. The excessive length of the songs it what drags them down a bit. Atma was better and more wandering.

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cmaitland421
September 6th 2014


173 Comments


I'm going to check out this album solely because of the summary.



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