Middian-Age Eternal, 2007
That's right I actually broke down and bought a cd that came out this year. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt formed YOB in 1996 and started cranking out slow, droning music after a few years of figuring out a musical direction. In late 2005 after four releases, Scheidt decided to call it quits for YOB because the rhythm section had quit the band. He took a short break and then started recruiting for a new band, this one. Just like YOB, Middian are signed to Metal blade records. The sound of Middian is maybe 60% the same as YOB. There are lots of long, winding slow musical passages with a minumum of vocals just like YOB. However this band is far more metal and less psychedlic than YOB. Perhaps less Pink Floyd and more Sleep and Electric Wizard. There is just such an emphasis on every specific note like they are pulling as much out of it as humanly possible. Plus there are lots of big echoes so you hear and really feel all of the sounds vibrating around you. It's probably as much doom as it is stoner rock, but has far more hooks and a tighter song structure than say Sleep or Electric Wizard. It's not something that you can easily grasp right away and it may not be for everyone. Despite the pace there really is just so much going on. The vocals are purposefully very low in the mix. Almost sounding at times like Burke Shelley of Budgie singing in a tunnel. I am kind of split on how I feel about the vocals, but I am gradually warming up to it. The music is at times very large and I felt like it was all around me and this is maybe just one of a few albums in recent years that made me feel that way. You may have to be in a certain mood to really appreciate it, but it's well worth the effort. I expected this year to be a good one for doom and stoner rock and this album begins to make a good case for that point.