Metal Blade Records
It didn’t take Mike Scheidt long to recover from the demise of his doom metal vehicle YOB. Say hello to Middian, another trio that quickly and forcefully establishes itself as a power to be reckoned with on its debut, “Age Eternal.”
Rather than do YOB part two, Scheidt takes his new band in a more puissant direction, leaving out much of the cosmic milieu that marked YOB’s sound for straight-up entombing heaviness. Seriously, the band sounds more like an army than a trio.
Middian also is quicker to the point than YOB ever was, though on tracks like “The Blood of Icons” and the title cut it’ll toss infinite guitar projectiles before settling into a thumping, hellish dirge.
The closing number, “Sink to the Center,” is closest in spirit to YOB on “Age Eternal,” with its maddening, atonal thrum and unearthly and discordant features. But one listen to “Dreamless Eye” and “The Celebrant” proves Scheidt is now happy to engage in a mid-tempo brutality that swallows the senses. Not only that, but the singing seems angrier too. The howling vocals heard on “The Celebrant” sound like they’re being sucked down some blackened vortex.
It probably helped Scheidt that his new cohorts, bassist Will Lindsay and drummer Scott Headrick, are new to the doom genre. They’re not so rooted in the style’s precepts, and as a result give Middian a bit of an edge.