YOB brought a raw heart full of profoundly intense, beautiful, and utterly pulverizing doom music to a packed El Club in Detroit. 

There are few bands who can create the emotive sensuality and immeasurable heft within the genre of doom like Oregon’s YOB. The band recently released their eighth album called Our Raw Heart and have taken the music on tour to share with fans. Fans arrive early for the opening of the doors and a few get a quick selfie with their heroes Mike Scheidt (guitar/vocals), Travis Foster (drums) or Aaron Rieseberg (bass) who came out to see the opening band.

This evenings performance begins with the devastating 1000 Yard Stare from Detroit. The band is only minutes into crushing souls on stage when the power cuts off. The El Club staff quickly find the issue and get the music and lights rolling. 1000 Yard Stare unleash an avalanche of stentorian metal. Guitars rage and howl as the drum and bass deliver tumultuous flourishes of pounding beats. Meanwhile, vociferous screams sketch a portrait of desolate agony and indignation. Given the hearty applause, 1000 Yard Stare gain a new host of fans.

Next up from Seattle is Bell Witch. The band is supporting their recently released album called Mirror Reaper which is a single continuous song. To the joy of fans in attendance, they play this epic dirge. Dylan Desmond (bass, vocals) and Jesse Shreibman (drums, vocals) lose themselves within the vastness of this galactic soundscape. The notes of music span light years and suggest our insignificance within this time and space. Jesse’s guttural roar reflects the darkness and contrasts the chanting melancholy of Dylan’s voice. Bell Witch leave us contemplating our purpose.

With their instruments ready to rock, Mike Scheidt of YOB pours a glass of Glenfiddich for himself and drummer Travis Foster. Mike takes his guitar in hand, gives a nod to bassist Aaron Rieseberg, and launches into “Ablaze” from Our Raw Heart. The appreciation for this resplendent music beams from the faces of the audience. “The Screen” jars the senses, yet still holds us in rapt attention leaning into each thrusting beat. Mike and Aaron cast their heads in a whirlwind as they play “Adrift in the Ocean”. Travis delivers a barbarous blow to his cymbal causing the end of the stick to fly off.

Mike mentions the Andean term of Ayni which refers to reciprocity or paying it forward. He tells the audience that the band feel this deeply in the music given to them which they now give to us. This leads to the majestic “Our Raw Heart”. Mike’s voice calls to us as he sings “Drawn by a mortal thread, To an ever-shifting weave”. The striking grace of this song is given physical form through our assembly in witnessing its rendering. YOB’s gift of music gives us a night of respite from the turbulence of life and a memory to savor and share.

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Bell Witch
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1000 Yard Stare
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El Club
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Event Date: 07-Jul-2018

About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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