Three figures in habits sit in a circle, a lit candle apiece, facing each other as they levitate upon a floating rock, into which YOB is carved in electric blue. Molten fissures and waves of energy crackle in the background. Various flavours of feedback hum and oscillate for a minute and a half, and then the first riff lurches in. It’s minor. It’s slow. It’s distorted. As first ever songs go (ignoring Yob’s three song demo released in 2000, which I will come back to), Universe Throb is solid, it’s promising, but it’s not spectacular. At 10 and a half minutes long, it is straightforward doom in that the guitar ploughs forward slow and steady and the drums make good use of the space afforded by these slow tempos. Of course, few bands anticipate having all of their songs dissected (Yob are too cool for cease and desist orders, right?). There are a few distinctive touches; vocalist Mike Scheidt’s gurgled Ozzy and Geddy adoption, run through an EQ gate and mild chorus, turns into adaptation with his six second roar at 4.55, showing an unexpected set of lungs. Scheidt also clearly loves his wah pedal. The outro starts with a big, dragging change of pace, bridging into a sonic landscape of scrapes, echoes, shivers, thrums and oscillations, ratcheting and melding, the sound of the universe throbbing. Hints of greater things to come.