Most of the time, American doom metal is significantly different from its European counterpart. The slow, depressed epics of such Euro acts as Candlemass, Esoteric, and Cathedral are more high-church than High Times. U.S. doomsters like Khanate, Grief, and Eyehategod distort their despair with feedback and howls indebted as much to the B-side of Black Flag's My War as to the first four Sabbath albums.
Portland, Oregon's Yob is somewhere in between these two schools of doom. Its third album, The Illusion of Motion, contains four tracks. "Ball of Molten Lead" and "Exorcism of the Host," the first two songs, both pass the 10-minute mark with ease. ("Exorcism" is almost 13 minutes long.) The six-minute "Doom #2" provides a brief respite that's almost worthy of some headbanging before the title cut closes things out, death-marching along for 26 minutes as singer-guitarist Mike Scheidt wails through both mic and amp.
Yes, Yob lets the feedback screech, and to call Scheidt's high, almost feminine vocals untrained would be generous, but the group is way more than just a reeling, throbbing power trio. Yob's arrangements are as psychedelic and intricate as three people can make 'em -- indeed, it's easy to imagine more players present than the liner notes claim.