Eugene-based doom metal outfit YOB performed at WOW Hall for a packed house of hometown fans Friday night. With a set lasting around an hour and fifteen minutes, YOB managed to perform eight brutal songs — many of which were new tracks from the band’s forthcoming album. The show also featured opening sets from fellow Eugene bands Paranoiac and Maestus.
Paranoiac was first to take the stage around 9 p.m. The band’s set consisted of a frenetic mix of black metal and grindcore, featuring plenty of blast beats and abrasive guitar parts. By the end of the first song, a mosh pit had opened up in the middle of the venue, which mainly consisted of younger fans. On stage, the band jolted between various rhythms, complimented by strobing red lights. Paranoiac kept its set short at around 25 minutes with short breaks in between songs to thank the audience.
Maestus, the second band to perform, played a set that was significantly slower in tempo. The five-piece band featured two vocalists that sang simultaneously in low, gravelly tones. Maestus’ keyboard player — featured during some of the the set’s darker interludes — also brought more of a dreamlike quality to the band’s blackened funeral doom. The stage lighting doused Maestus in blue for the entirety of its set. The band received a warm reaction from the crowd, and by the end of the final song, the crowd was significantly warmed up for a performance from YOB.
Mike Scheidt — the guitarist, vocalist, and band leader of YOB — briefly acknowledged the crowd with a symbol of thanks once he was ready and on stage. He then lead the group straight into its doomy, riff-filled set. Scheidt, tucked behind a microphone stand in the corner of the stage, sang each song with a sense of authority and purpose. Throughout the night, he effortlessly transitioned between low, guttural screams and high-pitched wails.
Scheidt’s guitar playing also provided a strong driving force throughout each song. His significantly detuned power chords encapsulated the entire venue. Despite the heaviness of YOB’s music, the overall sound was comforting. The band’s unrelenting force and repeated riffs resulted in a trance-inducing effect that was almost womb-like.
This could also be attributed to the band’s live mix, which was remarkably well-balanced — a notable achievement for any loud, doom metal show — in addition to the cohesiveness of YOB’s rhythm section. The band’s bassist Aaron Rieseberg and drummer Travis Foster matched Scheidt’s intensity throughout the entirety of the show. Foster brought a powerful sound on a hefty yet minimal drum kit, as Riseberg filled out the low-end with his monstrous bass tone.
Scheidt mentioned during the latter half of the show that the first five songs were new, and would be featured on the band’s upcoming — and recently finished — eighth album. YOB ended its set with some “oldie goldies,” which included a merciless performance of “Burning the Altar” from the 2009 album “The Great Cessation” for the encore.
At the end of the night, Scheidt gave a humble thanks to the audience coupled with an enthusiastic yell. Many metalheads left satisfied.