As commanding as it is cathartic, Clearing The Path To Ascend, the long-anticipated new full-length from Portland doom technicians, YOB, demands the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul. The path to ascend is clearly an arduous one, fraught with the peril of mediocrity. YOB pummels that path however, climbing upward into a realm that sets the band in a heavy metal place that has been and will always remain wholly their own. Recorded at Gung Ho Studio in Eugene alongside longtime collaborator Billy Barnett, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege Engineering, Clearing The Path To Ascend is a genuinely visceral listening experience.
In an advance investigation of the record, Last Rites dubs YOB, “one of the heaviest bands currently walking the third rock from the sun, even if they sometimes sound as if they are transporting their sounds from deep space.” Stereogum concurs, “YOB are the best doom band in the world today, andClearing The Path To Ascend is the best doom album you’ll hear this year. It is, quite possibly, the best metal album you’ll hear this year, maybe the best album of the year, period.” Elsewhere the sentiment echoes. Sludgelord notes, “Heavy, discordant, startling and genuinely touching, this album is a true-blue metal odyssey that rewards every listener who dares to take the journey with them. Headphones on. Eyes closed. Experience YOB.” Noisey gushes, “In the worlds YOB make, the music’s solidity pulls against its subject’s uncertainty. The slow drips of percussion and roars of guitar feel geologically real, while the lyrics and samples hidden in the songs hint that ‘real’ is only a feeling,” while MetalStorm adds, “YOB have a unique way of creating music that’s entirely sheltered in acute directness and yet still manages to deliver undiscovered subtleties on repeated listens. I love their startling ability to sink to new depths of desensitizing heaviness with song designs that are more or less uncomplicated but still can appease the layman’s metal music listener.”
In celebration of its imminent release, now just one week away, Pitchfork is offering up Clearing The Path To Ascend in its bone-crushing, soul-cradling entirety via their Advance Series at THIS LOCATION.