MIDDIAN – Age Eternal

Following the departure of his rhythm section, vocalist/guitarist Mike Scheidt could have just as easily continued YOB with new members, but instead chose to selflessly disband the outfit and in the aftermath, creating the mighty new MIDDIAN. MIDDIAN continues in the footsteps of the seminal doom and sludge of Scheidt‘s previous band, but with some more direct, up-tempo material as on the opening track, “Dreamless Eye” and “The Celebrant.” The latter two easily stand toe-to toe with HIGH ON FIRE‘s best material. “The Blood of Icons” however returns to more familiar territory with a powerful epic that alternates between eerie clean passages, snails-paced sludge, and driving, dissonant rhythms. The album’s title track is next, with the band taking it’s own time, building riff after monolithic riff, creating layers and layers of dense atmosphere. “Sink to the Center” stands as a descent into hell, as each cavity-inducing riff buries most of Southern Lord‘s overrated roster in one fell swoop, providing a powerful closer to one hell of a debut. Age Eternal may be just the beginning of MIDDIAN, but it’s already cemented itself as one of the best albums of this year. (Metal Blade Records)

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