The image on the reverse of the liner notes to Yob’s The Great Cessation is a black and white line drawing of a Greco-Roman-esque figure self-flagellating in front of an altar. It’s a confluence of the visual and the auditory.
Yob’s ancient slabs of doom resonate with pain, anguish and self-loathing, so it’s little wonder why bandleader Mike Scheidt chose the miserable scene to stand opposite his latest work. I could get deeper, but you see, Yob are awesome, and trying to analyze the tremendous emotional feeling from one of their records is like mapping the ocean floor. It’s dark, fearsome, and a real pain in the ass.
So I’m not even going to try hitting you over the head any further with postulating on the meaning of The Great Cessation (I’ll let you figure that title out yourself.), but suffice it to say, the return of Yob is a welcome development. It was a contender for my yearly Top Ten list before it came out, and after two listens, it was guaranteed a spot. Actually, it was by the 46 minute mark on the first listen.
After Scheidt put the act aside after tumultuous lineup issues throughout its history, he formed Middian—who legally I’m not even sure if it’s correct to mention because some assclown band named Midian sued them—and their sole release, 2007’s Age Eternal was pretty good. But it wasn’t Yob. The metronome on those songs approached and sometimes passed 100 or 120 bpm. Just not the same.
The Great Cessation is a return to the gas giant-paced epics that made Yob’s earlier efforts like The Illusion Of Motion and The Unreal Never Lived such pleasures to return to. As a catharsis for both performer and audience, each track fulfills a primal artistic desire to connect through life’s most basic emotional state.
It’s just that Yob’s way is really, really slow and really, really heavy. Awesome.