YOB with Acid King

Two of stoner/doom rock's leading lights team up this Saturday for a show at the Metro Operahouse in Oakland when Oregon-based trio YOB shares the stage with local heavyweights Acid King.

Best known as the leader and principle songwriter for Northwestern doom-metal legends YOB, guitarist/singer Mike Scheidt is a prolific musician who has been adding more and more diverse projects to his resume in recent years. 

YOB has rightfully risen to become one of the most respected bands in the metal underground since being founded by the Eugene, OR-based Scheidt in 1996. Mixing in elements of droning psychedelia and progressive rock with his monolithic, Sabbath-influenced guitar riffs and intricate songs that usually stretch beyond the ten-minute mark, the epic tunes heard on such classic YOB efforts as Catharsis and The Unreal Never Lived show off the talents of a restless artist who has always pushed the boundaries of metal.

While YOB would split up in the mid-2000s much to the dismay of their fans (Scheidt convenes a new trio under the name Middian that explored a still heavy sound at decidedly faster tempos on their single album, Age Eternal), he eventually reformed the trio in 2008 and has since produced some of the band's most indelible work.

The Profound Lore imprint released The Great Cessation and Atma to wide praise, but it was the band's first disc for Neurot Recordings (the label founded by Bay Area experimental metal heroes Neurosis) last fall entitled Clearing the Path to Ascend that brought the group it's most vocal critical adulation yet.

Named the best metal album of 2014 by Rolling Stone and appearing on numerous year-ending "best of" lists, the four-song, hour plus collection delivered some of the most emotionally charged and evocative music of Scheidt's career without sacrificing an iota of YOB's trademark heft. Drawing on a wider sonic palette inspired in part by his more acoustically oriented 2012 solo album Stay Awake  for Thrill Jockey Records, Clearing the Path to Ascend stands as YOB's most cohesive and powerful recording to date. 

Scheidt has also teamed with noted Bay Area guitarist John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra)  as part of  Bay Area metal band VHOL, who recently issued their ambitious sophomore album for Profound Lore, Deeper Than Sky, that has garnered widespread critical acclaim. YOB are joined for this doom summit by local legends Acid King.

With a history that dates back to just after the early rise of such iconic stoner rock bands as Kyuss, Monster Magnet and the Bay Area's own Sleep, down-tuned drone merchants Acid King have been rattling sternums and punishing eardrums for over two decades. 

Formed in 1993 by lead singer and guitarist Lori S., drummer Joey Osborne and bassist Peter Lucas (the first in a long string of rotating bass players), the power trio became one of the stalwarts of the San Francisco metal scene. Recording an EP and its debut album for the Sympathy for the Record Industry label before moving on to Frank Kozik's local Man's Ruin imprint later in the decade. 

The band would refine its lumbering, hypnotic riff magic to new heights on the rumbling 1999 opus Busse Woods and their 2005 follow-up III for Small Stone Records. Acid King would go on hiatus for a time following that release, but invitations to perform at European festivals prodded the band back into activity. With Scorched Earth Policy guitarist Mark Lamb joining the band as its latest bass player, the trio began playing regular local shows and gradually got together for a new album.

This year, Acid King issued what may be the band's crowning achievement with the trio's first new album in a decade, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere on Svart Records. Adding psychedelic atmospheres to their signature monolithic riffs, songs like "Silent Pictures" and "Coming Down from Outer Space" take the listener on an interstellar journey unlike anything Acid King has produced in the past. The band recently returned to the Bay Area after wrapping it's first tour of the U.S. in a decade. Also appearing at the Metro will be two acclaimed Oakland bands: celebrated metal duo Black Cobra (who  and experimental black metal outfit Embers.

YOB with Acid King
Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m. $15-$20
Oakland Metro Operahouse