Thu 12th April 2007
Right I've been putting this off to a mythical time when I'd be able to sit back, take this album in, and effortlessly describe the wonders within. However life is not working out like that, so I will just attempt to summarise why you need it in your life in a few blunt words.
Middian is Mike S. from the late great YOB's new band, and the difference is rawness basically. While YOB was definitely punishing, it was pretty meandering and open-ended, while in the main, Middian goes straight for the jugular, with tight, claustrophobic riffing and almost hardcore screams. But the similarities are there too - the awesome vertiginous ascending riff in the first song 'Dreamless Eye' is classic YOB fare, and the abstract, jazz-tinged, clanging guitar chords are here once again. But the second song 'The Blood Of Icons', after the spine-tingling ROAAAAARRRR of the vocals as they first enter, exhibits a new sense of melody and emotion not yet seen from Mike S. Where the Geddy Lee-going-mad-in-a-castle vocal dynamics of YOB's 'The Illusion of Motion' might have been slightly disorientating, here they are flowing and major-key.
The title track off 'Age Eternal' and the closing number 'Sink to the Center' plough the slower melodic epic doom furrow with style, and only 'The Celebrant' picks up the pace to the level of the first track.
However this is really classic YOB again, the rhythm of the album mirroring 'The Illustion of Motion' and 'The Unreal Never Lived'. Some have said Mike didn't really need to change the name of the band, and this album certainly fits in the canon beautifully, and is a must for any fan of aggressive Neurosis-style doom. Indeed this album, together with 'Given to The Rising' by those fellows from San Francisco, might be the essential purchases of the year for this style of music.