Yob Song by Song: Aeons

Catharsis cover art

Five seconds of silence. Ten seconds of silence. 30 seconds. One minute. Drums begin to creep. A low, spacious bass line trundles along landing with the kick. Thick guitars waver; vibrato, wah, the note choice, all make for a bluesy intro, crawling in like the neighbour’s pet mamba that disappeared from its tank a few days ago.

With the explosion of distortion this crawl turns into a slow, consuming roll. This is music you can see, smell, taste and feel. The guitar tone, thick as treacle and just as slow, combined with the reverb–heavy vocals, conjures a surreal, dream–like quality. Besides the nasal Ozzy–isms and contrasting roaring, Scheidt also deploys a little trick of whispering, then roaring his guts out. Similarly, the wah sounds like it’s breathing in your ear. Don’t be fooled by the distortion; this is a psychedelic song, the heart of the song laying in the lines

Inner sleep
Crushing aeons to dust

It refers to a spiritual epiphany, describing the centring of the soul in meditative terms:

Regain the space
The ageless expanse
The gateless entrance
Inside me

Fittingly, just before the ten minute mark (I wasn’t sure what to call this part of the song; post–verse?) it lightens up, gets all bluesy, using a extension of the descending end part of the main riff to transition from 4/4 and distorted to 3/4 and palm–muted wah via a bass interlude, descending back into the distortion two minutes later.

Yob approached this album with their own sound already in place – you can just tell it’s them – and added a few touches. I’ve heard the remastered version, and I’ve not managed to find a confirmed original recording, but this article here reckons I can sleep easy. Indeed, the more I listen to it the more the word pleasing comes to mind. Upon its release in 2002 Catharsis was apparently Yob’s break–out moment, and I can see why. This song crushes the aeon of 18 minutes into dust.