Metal Blade Records offers up something fairly different from the norm with this latest release from Oregon's masters of doom YOB. Yes, you heard that right, a doom, or stoner if you will, release on Metal Blade. More often than not, this label specializes in metalcore, thrash, and death metal, but here comes YOB, a veritable sludge machine, who originally signed with Metal Blade for their second studio album The Illusion of Motion back in 2004. On The Unreal Never Lived, YOB take the epic route, as this near hour long album features only four songs of huge proportions. Thick walls of Sabbath-like guitar dirges, plodding rhythms, and tortured vocals blast through the mix, and when the lead guitar work of Mike S. kicks in, you get a myriad of psychedelic and effects laden sounds. "Grasping Air" is a perfect example of what YOB are all about, with slow, crushing riffs, lyrics of doom, death, and despair, setting a perfect atmosphere for their style of metal. Images of St. Vitus pop up when listening to "Kosmos", which is just a behemoth of crunching power chords and pounding rhythms.
The production of The Unreal Never Lived has a dark 70's feel to it, giving the music a vintage sound that really works with the style of material the band plays. While it seems like the doom/stoner genre is quickly filling up with superior talent with bands like COC, Crowbar, Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Eyes on Fire, and Spiritual Beggards, it may be time to add another one to that list. YOB have the goods people, check 'em out.
1. Quantum Mystic
2. Grasping Air
4. The Mental Tyrant