Yob played Middle East Downstairs – 6/30
The lore behind Yob’s new record – the eighth for the Pacific Northwest trio – is tied inextricably to its release and ensuing tour. Frontman Mike Scheidt endured a life-threatening bout with diverticulitis last year, and emerged on the other with the inspiration for Our Raw Heart. The resulting 73-minute behemoth is a stirring triumph of a record touching on all sides of Yob’s soaring stoner-sludge-doom, and Saturday night’s exultant, majestically heavy set followed suit. The sell-out crowd gave plenty of love to the new songs, including chugging standout “The Screen,” and the band reached back for three oldies as well in a set that crushed as often as it uplifted.
Opening duties underwent a last-minute shift when injury forced funeral doom duo Bell Witch to drop from the bill (which was disappointing, indisputably – last year’s monolithic Mirror Reaper remains a stunner), but Western Mass’ Black Pyramid served admirably as a fill-in. The trio’s stoner grooves replaced Bell Witch’s deathly serious ruminations with a bit of psych-tinged levity, countering the apocalyptic drone-sludge of Connecticut’s Sea of Bones. Rounding out a seriously killer night for power trios, the New Haven group played one of the most purely, physically heavy sets I’ve seen this side of Primitive Man in recent memory.
See photos from the whole night below.