"Age Eternal" (Metal Blade; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt formed YOB in 1996 and started cranking out slow, droning music after a few years of figuring out a musical direction. In late 2005, after four releases, Scheidt decided to call it quits for YOB because the rhythm section had quit the band. He took a short break and then started recruiting for a new band: Middian.

Just like YOB, Middian is signed to Metal blade records. The sound of Middian is maybe 60% the same as YOB. There are lots of long, winding slow musical passages with a minimum of vocals ... just like YOB. However, this band is far more metal and less psychedelic than YOB. The direction is perhaps less Pink Floyd and more akin to Sleep and Electric Wizard. 

There is such an emphasis on every specific note, as though the band is pulling as much out of it as humanly possible. Plus there are lots of big echoes so you hear and really feel all of the sounds vibrating around you. It's probably as much doom as it is stoner rock, but has far more hooks and a tighter song structure than Sleep or Electric Wizard. 

"Age Eternal" is not something that you can easily grasp right away and it may not be for everyone. Despite the pace there really is just so much going on. The vocals are purposefully very low in the mix, almost sounding at times like Burke Shelley of Budgie singing in a tunnel. I am kind of split on how I feel about the vocals, but I am gradually warming up to it. The music is at times very large and I felt like it was all around me and this is maybe just one of a few albums in recent years that made me feel that way. 

You may have to be in a certain mood to really appreciate "Age Eternal," but it's well worth the effort. 

For more information check out http://www.middian.org

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.