I suppose that it would be impossible to disassociate Middian from Yob because, as frontman Mike Scheidt states, this new band is "very much in the vein of Yob." Well he has definitely succeeded in that aspect, as well as achieving a more direct and aggressive sound. As a fan of Yob, I was quite interested in hearing this album. Upon first listen, it's immediately evident that this is a much angrier, straight-forward band. What follows on Age Eternal does not disappoint.
Everything going on here should please existings fans of Yob. Middian unleashes some seriously heavy doom. There are painfully, dragging riffs and also some of the standard Sabbath-influenced grooves. None of this will surprise you I'm sure, but what did surprise me a bit are the more upbeat riffs. It seems that psychedelic vibe of Yob has been toned down and the aggression has been turned way up. Some riffs remind me of High on Fire, while others sound like they came from Yob on uppers. Also, Scheidt's nasal, high-pitched singing is accompanied by fierce screaming. With their more straightforward riffs and heavier vocals, Middian has set a darker atmosphere than Yob ever did.
I don't have much to complain about on here. My only gripe would be that a few parts of this album are left to wander without substance. These are just songwriting choices, but a few parts get off track and disrupt the flow of the song. This only occurs two or three times, so it's nothing that would keep me from returning to this album.
Age Eternal sports a monster production, which comes courtesy of Dogwood Studios. I love the sound. All of the tones are beefy and there isn't anything I would change about them at all. Everything is warm, natural and perfectly suited to Middian's sound.
Bottom Line: Again, it's all but impossible for a fan of Yob to not draw comparisons with Middian. Is that such a bad thing though Yob was a great band, and I think Mike Scheidt was right to put it bed. I love the slightly altered direction he has taken with Middian. Hopefully these guys will stick around for a bit, because Age Eternal is a great doom record.