Our Raw Heart (Relapse)
I see the world, old. I see the world, dead.
I also want to see the people I care about live for a long time. What a contradiction, huh?
I still wanna live, and maybe that’s foolish. That’s also why Yob’s Our Raw Heart resonated more than any other record this year, metal or not.
Heart was made following Yob frontman Mike Scheidt’s recovery from diverticulitis last year, which could have been fatal if he had not acted in time. As such, this is a record about living as a victory. Yob already made a ’10s metal classic with Atma’s “Prepare the Ground,” an aggressive devotional, and “Beauty in Falling Leaves” is its more introspective, more open equivalent. Scheidt flicked death in the nose like a mischievous little rat and ran off, and his voice in “Leaves” sounds both victorious and weathered. Its psychedelic break nine minutes in is so warm, so enveloping that it will make you learn to love again or, if you never forgot, it will make you feel love deeper. “Original Face” and “The Screen” both reflect Scheidt’s earlier hardcore days as they’re faster tracks, yet they come from a place where working through anger is on the path to finding love, not just anger for anger’s sake. His meditative approach to Yob never fails, even when he’s on the warpath. Yob has always felt deeply spiritual, in touch with something intangible whether you believe in anything higher or not. “Ablaze” lives up to its name, setting itself up as a burning renewal cleanse, finding a touch of lightness in Yob’s mountainous doom. It is leaning into the everlasting arms of metal.
Heart isn’t disconnect. It is the connect, where its overwhelming nature is not to desensitize you, but to make you feel alive, beyond survival. That’s why it’s called Our Raw Heart — it’s experiencing everything while never alone. Heart the electricity in every time Scheidt hammers down a riff, it’s the community that helped him get through his illness, it is saying “Only death is real, maybe. But life is pretty good too.”