The best bits of writing I’ve ever read about music are Invisible Oranges’ series on Metallica’s first four albums. Cosmo Lee went through every song in chronological order and wrote a piece upon each in a deeply perceptive manner, balancing technical analysis with assessments of mood and context. Whilst re–reading these pieces recently, I went through the comments sections (Invisible Oranges was one of the few sites where you could do this without scrolling back up despairing for the human race) and found some thought–provoking comments discussing which other bands had the potential to warrant the same treatment. Slayer was mentioned. Death was mentioned. Black Sabbath. Iron Maiden. Bolt Thrower. Emperor. Celtic Frost. Darkthrone. Portal. Isis (no, not ISIS). Yob.
The application of this idea to quite a few of these bands appealed to me, initially; I like Slayer, but I certainly can’t tell every song apart. I think Isis may be worthy of such a treatment, but I’ve only heard Oceanic, so they’ll have to wait. Having only heard Individual Thought Patterns and Sound of Perseverance, this is also the case with Death. I thought Gojira could be added to that list, but I’ve already written a lengthy piece on them (here) and it’s too early in the night to start repeating myself yet. But Yob…Yob, the new age proclaimers of doom, the quiet iconoclasts. There’s no other band quite like them, and I’m confident that each song of theirs warrants a piece in its own right; there’s a lot going on and a lot to dig into.
Still, a piece on every Yob song is a lot of column inches. That’s 31 songs across seven albums, consisting of six hours and seven minutes of music, and, taking into account a two year hiatus, 14 years’ worth of material. But, as mentioned, they’re a band of considerable depth, so I think a piece on each song could be both enjoyable and educational, two words we are all normally and rightly suspicious of when in the same sentence (‘you don’t fool me, Teach’). Whilst I am dubious about anyone ever saying that these pieces are the best bits of writing upon music of all time, I do think I have some perceptive thoughts to share upon Yob. Up first: Universe Throb.