Enslaved, Yob, Ecstatic Vision | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Enslaved, Yob, Ecstatic Vision 

When: Tue., March 17, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: $17-$27
Doom metal isn’t supposed to feel good—I mean, it’s right there in the name. But every time I see Yob play, I leave relaxed, clear-headed, and euphoric, like I’ve just had a long massage. This Oregon trio’s seventh album, last year’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot), features the band’s usual explicitly Buddhist lyrics, but their content matters about as much as the paint on a steamroller: this music is all about the physical and emotional power of sound. The magisterially graceful melodies of front man Mike Scheidt (his electrifying high tenor would make him sound like Ozzy, if Ozzy didn’t sound like he were hurting himself) can raise goose bumps on your neck by nudging a single note into a new spot. His guitar’s chords and harmonies, for all their primordial bulk, shift like the planes of color that leap and dazzle inside a rotating crystal. And the bass that anchors the bludgeoning, implacable rhythms runs as deep as the roots of a mountain so huge that the ribbon of snow blowing from its peak glitters against the blackness of space. Yob understand that the kind of catharsis that cracks you open and pours you on the ground can’t be achieved with a quick feint after just a few repetitions—it requires monklike patience. (The shortest song on the new album tops 11 minutes—all the others are between 15 and 20.) The slow cycles in this music mesmerize without lapsing into stasis—every return brings something new with it, the way a tree adds a ring each summer. And with songs this long, in the silence after the final note, you feel as though you’ve arrived somewhere else—somewhere unrecognizably far from where you began. —Philip Montoro
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