YOB, Earthless, Blackwater Holylight

Event Date/Doors Open: 
Friday, December 6, 2019 - 8:00pm
Event Time: 
9:00PM
Cost: 
$10 Advance, $15 Day of Show

On Friday, December 6, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome YOB back to the WOW Hall along with special guests Earthless and Blackwater Holylight.

Epic, crushing, and heavy beyond words, YOB has achieved legendary status in recent years due to their unmatched aesthetic and incredible body of work. Formed in 1996 in Eugene, Oregon under the leadership of doom metal mastermind Mike Scheidt on guitars and vocals, the group initially released a three-song demo tape in 2000 that garnered them international attention. Drawing comparisons to groups like Neurosis, Sleep and Electric Wizard, YOB succeeded in developing modern sounding doom metal that hearkened back to the classics.

In 2002, YOB released their debut album Elaborations of Carbon followed by Catharsis in 2003, a three song record that clocked in at a colossal 50 minutes. The buzz about YOB was beginning to grow and the trio began to tour more extensively. Remaining quite prolific during this period, YOB continued to release an album each year with The Illusion of Motion coming in 2004 followed by The Unreal Never Lived in 2005. Despite all the momentum, YOB disbanded in 2006.

In 2008 the band returned from hiatus and has remained strong ever since with Travis Foster on drums and Aaron Rieseberg on bass. Reinvigorated and reinspired, YOB released The Great Cessation in 2009. It was doom with a psychedelic twist, a sound that Pitchfork referred to as “cosmic doom.” At this point in their career, the band found increased exposure in the media, with The New York Times going so far as to call them “one of the best bands in North America” after a performance at Scion Rock Festival.

For 2011’s Atma, YOB took a more organic approach to recording, opting to track everything at once. In Scheidt’s own words, he wanted the record to sound “grizzly, with hair on it.” Three year later, the group released Clearing the Path to Ascend, a record that upheld their legacy as a top notch doom metal act and was hailed by Rolling Stone as the #1 metal album of the year.

In 2018, the band release their newest album Our Raw Heart on Relapse Records.  Mike Scheidt (guitar/vocals) says, “I think every era of YOB fan will find something on there to dig — it’s just a matter of whether they can go on the whole trip or not,” he ventures. “And that’s none of my business. The music has a life of its own.” 

 

EARTHLESS

 

Earthless has a surprise for you. Whereas the band’s three previous albums featured anywhere from two to four completely instrumental space rock jams, the California trio’s fourth and latest, Black Heaven, is nothing like that. “It’s quite different,” drummer Mario Rubalcaba says with a laugh. “It has six songs, and most importantly it has vocals on about 70 percent of the record. There goes being pigeonholed as an instrumental band, I guess…”  

When Rubalcaba, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell and bassist Mike Eginton started Earthless in 2001 as a psychedelic instrumental band, they were constantly asked, ‘Are you guys looking for a singer?’  “That was the joke for years,” Rubalcaba laughs. “But we’ve always known Isaiah could sing. He’s got a great voice. We’d do a cover here and there or maybe write a song for a special project or collaboration, but we’ve never tried to focus on writing a few songs with vocals on them. It was really refreshing to try this approach on a record.” 

While the band’s lysergic leanings are fully intact, Black Heaven, takes on a more classic rock hue than previous outings. “For me personally, the psychedelic thing is pretty important,” Rubalcaba offers. “Even on this record, there are moments when it’s more psyched-out, but we’ve always been really big fans of classic rock stuff like ZZ Top, James Gang, Allman Brothers — and of course, Cream. There would be no Earthless if it wasn’t for Cream. They’re like the great-grandfathers of power trios.”

As for the album title itself? “Whenever we couldn’t jam with Isaiah, Mike and I would play just bass and drums together, and we’d call that ‘Black Heaven,’” Rubalcaba explains. “That was basically code for just me and him jamming, and we always joked that one day we’d have a side project with that name. The longer instrumental track on the new album has a heavier, darker feel, so I just thought of ‘Black Heaven’. Then I thought it would sound good as a record title, too — so there isn’t really too much of a deep meaning behind it, unfortunately!” 

Deep meaning or no, Black Heaven is a game changer for Earthless. Nobody is more aware of this than the band members themselves. But they also know this: you’ll never get anywhere if you’re running in place. “I think people are gonna enjoy hearing a different side of us. If people really listen to what we’re doing, it’s gonna sound like us. Sometimes it just takes a few listens. And that’s the kind of stuff that pays off more in the end.”

 

BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT

 

            Portland’s Blackwater Holylight is a HeavyPsych rock band that happens to be all female.  Band members are Allison (Sunny) Faris, Laura Hopkins, Sarah McKenna and Mikayla Mayhew.

            YOB like to keep ticket prices lower than usual for the hometown fans, so it just $10 in advance, $15 day of show.  It’s selling fact, so advance purchase (and earplugs) are strongly recommended.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.