Woe Unto Me - Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed (2xCD)

Woe Unto Me - Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed (2xCD)

doom death, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
550.00 Р
Цена в баллах: 1100 баллов
SP. 128-17 x
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Немая бесконечность, несущаяся ввысь, всецело поглощает и успокаивает. Начало конца или возрождение из пепла? Приходит понимание того, что существование циклично, оно подобно осеннему листу, рассыпающемуся от усталого ветра, весной дающего жизнь робким растениям с прозрачными душами. Шум жизни совершенно беззвучен в сравнении с немой бездной, чей крик заставляет каждую клетку тела иссыхать, скукоживаться и утопать в беспомощности. Тонкие нити существования, соединяющиеся воедино, взрываются, образуя пустоту, которая и есть плоть, способная мыслить. Жизнь бесконечна… Но продолжится она лишь в глазах смотрящего, в уме думающего, в сердце любящего. Именно эта тонкая грань лежит между двумя дисками нового альбома Woe Unto Me «Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed». Музыкально, содержательно и художественно оба диска кардинально отличаются друг от друга: первая часть погружает слушателя в мрачную и депрессивную атмосферу разностороннего doom death metal, вторая часть – акустическая меланхолия, которая окутывает покрывалом осеннего уныния и печальной красоты. В записи альбома приняли участие несколько известных представителей мировой doom-сцены: Thomas A.G. Jensen (SATURNUS), Daniel Neagoe (CLOUDS, EYE OF SOLITUDE, SHAPE OF DESPAIR), Jon Aldara (HAMFERD, BARREN EARTH, CLOUDS), Patryk Zwoliński (PROGHMA-C, ex-BLINDEAD, ex-NEOLITHIC, ex-ANTIGAMA).

Треклист:
...The Voidness Flashed
1-1 Triptych: Shiver, Shelter, Shatter
1-2 Of Life That Never Showed Its Face
1-3 I Come To Naught
1-4 Breath Of A Grief
1-5 Drawn By Mourning
Among The Lightened Skies...
2-1 In A Stranglehold
2-2 Leave Me To My Sorrows
2-3 Along Came The Imminence
2-4 Fall-Dyed Lament
2-5 A Year-Long Waiting
2-6 My Joy Lies Behind
2-7 The Snide Sun

Артист:
Woe Unto Me
Страна артиста:
Belarus
Год альбома:
2017
Название:
Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed
Стиль:
doom death
Формат:
Compact Disk
Тип:
2xCD
Упаковка:
Jewel Case
Лейбл:
Solitude Productions
Кат. номер:
SP. 128-17
Год издания:
2017
Штрих-код:
4627080611252
Страна-производитель:
Russia
Review
Iye Zine
8/10
19.10.2017

Tre anni dopo l’ottimo esordio intitolato A Step into the Waters of Forgetfulness ritornano, con un nuovo album, i bielorussi Woe Unto Me, indiscussi portabandiera del verbo funeral doom del loro paese.

La band guidata dal talentuoso Artem Serdyuk, con questo Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed fa le cose in grande, rischiando a mio avviso anche qualcosina nell’offrire agli appassionati un doppio cd per oltre due ore complessiva di musica dalle coordinate ben distinte tra i due supporti magnetici: se, infatti, il primo regala un’interpretazione più ortodossa, anche se come vedremo non proprio in tutti i frangenti, il secondo è invece all’insegna di una vena acustica ed intimista dai risultati alterni.
Sinceramente, da vecchio adoratore del funeral, ritengo che solo i primi lunghi cinque brani rappresentino l’album vero e proprio, derubricando le sette canzoni contenute nella seconda parte ad una sorta di pur valido bonus cd , alla luce anche del suo oggettivo scostamento dalle linee guida del genere.
Partiamo quindi dall’opener Triptych: Shiver, Shelter, Shatter, uno dei piatti forti del lavoro, non fosse altro che per la presenza di diversi ospiti, alcuni illustri (Daniel Neagoe e Jon Aldarà ), altri meno (Patryk Zwoliński): il brano, bellissimo, cambia umore di volta in volta con l’avvicendarsi dei diversi vocalist, risultando prima cupo e drammatico, con il solito terrificante growl di Neagoe, per poi farsi più aspro in coincidenza con le harsh vocals di Zwoliński e raggiungendo infine il proprio picco emotivo quando la meravigliosa voce del faroese Aldarà spinge il brano su un piano irresistibilmente evocativo.
Un’altrettanto valida Of Life That Never Showed Its Face inaugura la parte del disco in cui l’alternanza tra il growl di Serdyuk e le clean vocals di Oleg Vorontsov diviene pressoché sistematica, aprendo peraltro sbocchi compositivi in passato inesplorati dagli Woe Unto Me, con una parte in odore di ambient con tanto di utilizzo dei fiati che prelude ad uno splendido finale.
I Come To Naught si apre in maniera alquanto cupa per poi aprirsi improvvisamente in passaggi ariosi che ricordano non poco i Dark Suns del loro capolavoro Existence: anche qui il sax diviene un interessante elemento di discontinuità in un brano senz’altro originale se rapportato al genere offerto e, di conseguenza, decisamente intrigante.
Breath Of A Grief, se si eccettua un bell’incremento emotivo nella sua parte finale, nonostante resti comunque un brano di buono spessore rappresenta il momento meno scintillante del primo cd, forse anche perché subito dopo arriva la vera perla dell’album, Drawn By Mourning, magnifico e drammatico esempio di come si suona il funeral doom nelle lande ex sovietiche, con il suo dolente incedere punteggiato dal lamento della chitarra ed uno sviluppo sempre improntato alla ricerca di sonorità toccanti ma non scontate.
Il secondo cd, come detto, sposta tutto su un piano molto più rarefatto che, alla fine, finisce per rendere un po’ troppo omogenei i contenuti: questo non impedisce alla band bielorussa di regalare brani splendidi come In A Stranglehold e Fall-Dyed Lament, che si vanno a collocare stilisticamente tra gli Anathema ed di Novembers Doom acustici, o come Leave Me To My Sorrows, che si rifà al pathos recitativo di Thomas Jensen negli album dei Saturnus ma, nel complesso, l’impatto e l’intensità non raggiungono quello del cd, per così dire, canonico.
Posto che il funeral è genere anticommerciale per definizione, la scelta degli Woe Unto Me è doppiamente coraggiosa, anche se questa separazione netta tra le due anime dell’album non giova all’economia dell’intero lavoro, nel senso che, pur mantenendo la versione con duplice supporto, mescolando il tutto ed alleggerendo di 2-3 brani il fatturato complessivo, Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed si sarebbe reso probabilmente più accessibile ad ascolti completi. Infatti, ritengo che molti potrebbero alla lunga accantonare la parte acustica per privilegiare l’eccellente vis compositiva esibita da Serdyuk nei primi cinque brani.
Il voto, per quel che vale, è la media matematica tra il 9 del primo cd ed il 7 del secondo ma, con la soluzione da me auspicata in precedenza, la valutazione avrebbe potuto raggiungere anche un mezzo punto in più.
Poco cambia, se non per le statistiche, visto che gli Woe Unto Me confermano comunque la loro bravura proponendosi come una delle band di riferimento del funeral doom est europeo.

Author: Stefano Cavanna
Review
Necromance
9/10
14.10.2017

Hoy toca una buena dosis de doom de la mano de WOE UNTO ME. Se trata de un sexteto de Bielorrusia que se han currado un pedazo de álbum titulado ‘Among the Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed’. El doom suele significar temas largos, tempos lentos y pesados, ¿Verdad? Pues esta banda no se ha andado con tonterías y han creado un doble CD con casi dos horas de doom (114 minutos para ser exactos). Ambos CDs parecen ser bastante diferentes, a lo que entraremos ahora.

Creo que voy a empezar comentando por la parte más light de este ‘Among the Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed’, que es el CD 2. Este se compone de 7 temas con 45 minutos de duración, más que aceptable para un trabajo completo. En este caso, encontramos un doom muy suavecito y melódico, con voces limpias en su totalidad, ausencia de distorsiones en la mayor parte, y baterías muy ligeras que acompañan la ambientación. WOE UNTO ME demuestran un dominio total del género, pudiendo moverse por sus distintas vertientes y experimentar un poco. Aún así, queda palpable el sonido propio de la banda, que parece una extraña mezcla de atmósfera fantástica y, a la vez, melancólica (y me parece que la viva prueba de ello es el tema ‘Along Came The Imminence’). Las pistas de voz son preciosas, siempre a la par con las guitarras limpias o con distorsiones muy sutiles que llevan riffs súper melódicos.

El contraste de este segundo CD es increíble con el primero, que es del que voy a hablar ahora. Mientras que antes se repartían 45 minutos en 7 temas, aquí tenemos 70 minutazos en tan sólo 5. Y, sí, es el doom más clásico que cabría esperar; tempos muy lentos, distorsiones atronadoras y riffs aplastantes. Los vocales que vamos a tener en este primer CD de ‘Among the Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed’ son growls en su gran mayoría, con voces limpias sueltas. Las pistas de batería son lentas pero muy llenas y dinámicas, con un buen juego de platos. Y aún cuando todo suena como el más típico doom, WOE UNTO ME han añadido elementos diferenciadores, tales como pistas de trompeta/saxofón en temas como ‘I Come To Naught’. Pasando desde los 10 a los 18 minutos de duración, los pequeños detalles añadidos por la banda Bielorrusa consiguen que su marcha funeraria particular no sea en absoluto monótona o aburrida.

WOE UNTO ME han indagado en lo profundo del doom, han experimentado y añadido pequeños retoques a un sonido clásico del género, consiguiendo que te absorba y estés en todo momento con la curiosidad del qué podría llegar a continuación. ‘Among the Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed’ viene en forma de doble CD, que no podría contrastar más uno con otro, pero que, sin lugar a dudas, debéis dar un escucha.

Author: Gabriel Pastor Sánchez
Review
Doom-Metal.com
9/10
05.10.2017

Damn. Twelve tracks spread over two discs. Just shy of two hours of music. Massive song and album titles. Anyone would think that bands don’t consider being kind to us critics and reviewers as a priority when they start working on an album…! Wait, what – they don’t? Fair enough, I suppose, better get on with dealing with it “as it is” then…

The first thing you’d have to say is that our Belarusian friends Woe Unto Me have clearly been busy in the three years since launching their debut, ‘A Step Into The Waters Of Forgetfulness’. This is a pretty substantial release by anyone’s standards, perhaps more than you could reasonably expect from a mere three-year intervening period. It’s again been released through Solitude Productions, with their usual quality of presentation. Interestingly, the upside-down and back-to-front halves of the booklet draw an immediate distinction between the two CDs, anticipating some kind of difference between the double-digit-plus compositions of ‘The Voidness Flashed’ and the sub-ten-minute pieces of ‘Among The Lightened Skies’. No clues as to what it might be, though – to all intents and purposes both rely on the same technical resources – with the same band members (whose individual photos and credits are split across both halves) and guest musicians, same recording studio, dates, engineers…

Most of the heavy lifting takes place on ‘The Voidness Flashed’, accounting for just shy of 70 minutes of the total music as it builds on the strengths of their first album. It’s still anchored in that typically Scandinavian Shape Of Despair/Saturnus vein – mixing lush picturesque soundscapes with acoustic sections, clean with extreme vocals, hard-edged and slow-paced passages with more fatalistic and funereal ones – but with an added something of its own. The use of keyboards and samples once again add something of a movie score feel to proceedings, the twin guitars and well-featured bass carry most of the main melodies, while the drums occupy a more distant, but busy and interesting, place behind them. Credit has to go the vocal arrangements, dipping in and out of growls, cleans and choral or harmonic sections: they pack a lot of emotional punch into their varied deliveries – never more so than the standout soaring cleans of Hamferð’s Jón Aldará in ‘Triptych’. There are touches of both Jazz and Prog-rock to be found in the tempo changes and thematic shifts of the compositions; these peak in ‘I Come To Naught’, with its album-highlight Subterranean Disposition-like sax, but feature throughout. None of it will come as too much of a surprise to existing fans of either band or genre, but it’s a very accomplished and well-engineered take on the style.

What might well challenge expectation is the way the album then heads unapologetically in a completely radical direction, as the separate identity of ‘Among The Lightened Skies’ reveals itself. This shorter collection, of shorter pieces, is essentially an ‘acoustic unplugged’ Death/Doom, mixing up almost the same elements (growls excluded) to create a more intimate singer-songwriter atmosphere. The clearly-intoned lyrics, one or two odd phrasings and constructions aside, have a personal and heartfelt melancholy, sadness and bitterness about them; together with the semi-acoustic tunes that accompany them, the stage has more of a later Anathema, and sometimes Pink Floyd, feel. Gothic elements shine through in places, also invoking thoughts of Chamber, L’Orchestre De Chambre Noir. Nonetheless, although there’s very little musical overlap, the way Woe Unto Me have structured this as a complete and separate mirror-image that still works as a combined whole is most reminiscent of Neil Young’s exemplary 1979 album ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ (and the follow-up ‘Live Rust’ double). Though Young’s was a more countercultural statement – both pushing back against, and subversively embracing, the ‘Punk revolution’ of the time – it set the foundations of echoing themes and moods across an album of entirely different-styled electric and acoustic halves which Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed’ represents rather beautifully.

The bottom line: if you want something that’ll brutalise you with an extreme Doom aural kicking – this isn’t it. Even when it’s tackling harder-edged sonic territories, they’re mostly within the Clouds/Saturnus model of accessibility (it’s no coincidence that both Daniel N. and Thomas A.G. Jensen are featured guests). ‘The Voidness Flashed’ is undoubtedly a step forward in the more mainstream Death/Doom genre, both in terms of individuality and proficiency, but it’s still coming from a quite familiar place – and I dare say you already know whether you’re going to like it. The ‘unplugged’ idea, though, is particularly fascinating, showing what an ostensibly Doom band can do if they decide to unshackle themselves from most of the genre standards and restrictions. Much like Kimi Kärki’s similar and recent ‘Eye For An Eye’ venture, or Zatokrev main man Fredy Rotter’s The Leaving side-project, it steps out into rarer areas of musical exploration, and does so both solidly and well. So, if you’re after something that has a more subtly classic and intelligent vibe to it, something that’ll grow on you the more you explore it, and something which is brave enough to venture into unusual territories, then Woe Unto Me’s sophomore sits more-or-less exactly on that sweet and highly recommended spot.

Author: Mike Liassides
Review
Moshpit Nation
3.5/5

Patience is a Virtue, and Time runs out, or so they say. Who are they precisely? And why are we so time poor that we feel the need to skip a song when it doesn’t fit into our time frame? Are we Virtuous enough to not listen to the statement an artist is trying to make? Are we simply seeking a riff or a moment in music that makes us feel something special and keep listening to an album? Yes, we are both, for it is that that makes us Human.

Woe Unto Me, for the less patient, may make you want to skip a song or two to find out exactly what they are on about or get some kind of feel for what is going on, and sadly you won’t get that. Brutal as a fish left gasping for air on the bank of a river one minute, as gentle as the sunset over the same river the minute, the Crows have taken the carcass away and nothing is as it seems or was.

Doom you were after, Death it seems hopped on board for a ride, a Saxophone may or may not be involved, clean vocals, crushing riffs, back to vocals that are tortured and full of pain. Patience now becomes the Virtue. You are involved.

This album is an act in two parts, the second act being another test. Are you prepared for a more acoustic version of what has come before us already. Yes it involves a change of such magnitude that even the Gods may cry, but you need to be patient. Trust me.

Recommendation: Time may be the only thing that puts you off. Make some time.

Author: The Great Mackintosh
Review
Gbhbl.com
6.5/10
27.09.2017

Opening with 13 minutes of pain & suffering. The methodical pace matched with the spine-tingling vile vocals of Triptych – Shiver, Shelter, Shatter creates an atmosphere of darkness that no light can brighten. The longer it goes on, the more you feel yourself slipping into the void. It shows off a lot of imagination & style, particularly when the heaviness is taken up a notch.

Of Life That Never Showed Its Face begins with a soft guitar melody & the sound of children talking. It’s an unusual sounding start that is improved by the sudden crash of instruments that drop a meaty metal sound on you. Being another lengthy track it’s no surprise that it switches between hard hitting metal & atmospheric melody. The haunting of the middle of the track is initially very ear-pleasing but it just goes on for far too long. By time it brings back in the slower doomy heavy riffing your mind is checking out.

Woe Unto Me don’t do short songs as the next two tracks of CD1 come too almost 25 minutes together. I Come to Nought continues the blend of slow doomy blackness & melody but does switch to an up-tempo/clean vocal chant that offers some nice variety in what you’re hearing. However the saxophone use is so odd & so jarring it derails the song when it turns up.

A Breath of Grief is an improvement though. Hellish, guttural vocals fighting a war with booming cleaner singing backed up by fantastic riffs & a beat that is like a drill to the skull. The best song on CD1. It’s followed by the 18 minute, yes…that’s 18 minutes of a slow, melodic beat. It goes on & on to the point where you feel like you can’t take anymore then switches direction to give some relief from the constant barrage of slow & methodical doom.

In contrast, what we get with CD2 is quite a surprise.

The moody, dark & melodic In A Stranglehold opens CD2. A track that oozes bleak atmosphere with its spoken word like vocals adding an air of desperation to events. Leave Me to My Sorrows continues the morose sound but is appealing thanks to the guitar melody.

Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed CD2 is all about delivering a dark & unhappy sounding atmosphere. Heaviness is not the name of the game here but it makes up for that with exciting & unique melodies.

Along Came the Imminence’s effects & chant-like vocals is nice sounding enough but by time the 8 plus minutes of Fall-Dyed Lament comes along things are stepping into boring territory. It all begins to sound far too similar to really enjoy & even the beautifully emotive piano that opens A Year-Long Wait can’t rescue it.

By time the final track, The Snide Sun comes along you’re likely to have checked out. When nice melody & softly sung vocals is all you’re getting across 7 tracks, especially one that is 45 minutes long it just isn’t going to have that much of an impact. Particularly as Woe Unto Me aren’t doing anything spectacular here. The imagination shown on CD1 just doesn’t come across as well on CD2.

Author: The Disc
Review
Power Metal.de
10/10
09.03.2018

Ein unglaublich faszinierendes Meisterwerk

Eigentlich muss man den Mannen von WOE UNTO ME kompletten Wahnsinn unterstellen. Und gerne auch Naivität. Und wenn man es ganz drastisch ausdrücken will, könnte man fast behaupten, die Herren seien völlig durchgedreht. Denn welcher Truppe gelingt es schon, mal eben so aus dem Stegreif zwei Stunden mit sphärisch ansprechender, musikalisch anspruchsvoller und inhaltlich total facettenreicher Musik zu füllen, ohne dabei auch nur einen einzigen Moment Gefahr zu laufen, in langatmige Strukturen zu verfallen? Und welche Band geht diesen direkten Weg und verschießt ihr komplettes Pulver, obschon sie eigentlich Material für mindestens zwei, vielleicht aber auch drei Alben in der Hinterhand hat?

Natürlich muss man diese kritischen Anmeerkungen mit dem entsprechenden ironischen Unterton zur Kenntnis nehmen, denn in der Summe ist “Among The Lighted Skies The Voidness Flashed” ein herausragendes Meisterwerk, das nicht nur quantitativ in andere Dimensionen vorstößt, sondern auch in Sachen Atmosphäre Pforten öffnet, zu denen nur wenige Bands den richtigen Schlüssel haben.

Gestaltet sich der erste Silberling alleine schon als monströses Epic-Doom-Monster, das neben flehenden, depressiven Annäherungen an den extremen Bereich, melodischen Glanztaten und abwechslungsreich präsentierter Brachialität auch noch die Ruhe weg hat, exotische Elemente wie ein Saxophon einzuführen, ist Scheibe Nummer zwo ein grandioser Tribut an die melancholischen Grandiositäten von OPETH und EMPYRIUM, ein düsteres, cineastisch anmutendes Meisterstück der Introvertiertheit und letztendlich auch eine emotionale Werkschau, die nicht nur einmal wohlige Gänsehaut erzeugt. Nummern wie das rein akustische ‘Fall-Dyed Lament’ und das eindringliche ‘A Year-Long Waiting’ sind das geistige Pendant zu vorangegangenen Monumentalkompositionen wie ‘Drawn By Mourning’ und ‘Of Life That Never Showed Its Face’, die lediglich vom ungeheuer vielseitigen ‘I Come To Naught’ noch übertroffen werden können. Feeling und kompositorisches Genie verschmelzen hier zu einem permanent nachhallenden Magnum Opus, das selbst in Kreisen der langsamen Töne einzigartig erscheint. Bereits mit dem direkten Vorgänger haben diese Weißrussen ein Ausrufezeichen gesetzt; mit “Among The Lighted Skies The Voidness Flashed” übertreffen sie jedoch nicht nur sich, sondern auch die gesamte Konkurrenz um Längen. In Sachen Epic Doom ist diese Platte absolute Referenz – vielleicht sogar im gesamten bisherigen Jahrzehnt. Höchstnote!

Author: Björn Backes
Review
The Independent Voice
3.5/5
31.12.2017

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a band from Belarus before, but with the six-piece funeral doom outfit Woe Unto Me this changed. The band released their latest album “Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed” at the end of September, at the first Russian doom label – Solitude Productions – and it is a double album.

On the first CD there is not a single song shorter than 10 minutes, and the longest one is over 18. These songs are heavy and painful. It has a really gloomy and depressive atmosphere as if it is slowly grinding you between two massive millstones. I found it nice how they build up the balance between clean vocals and growls, the same with the slow melodic and the heavy riffing parts. It is a real surprise when you hear the sounds of some brass instruments. I do not really know exactly which ones (trumpet maybe?) but it’s refreshing in these kinds of songs. Five heavy songs (even with some extra instruments like the brass ones, and a piano and clean vocals which should make them less heavy) but between 10 and 18 minutes for each felt a bit too much. And this was only the first record. And to be honest, if it wasn’t for me writing about them then I would have taken a break. Don’t get me wrong though. The songs are good, the production too – but they put you in a bad mood. Which is the point of it – I just don’t want to be there.

Anyway, I started to listen to the second CD and this one is surprising. It is radically different to the first one. It’s less depressing for sure and the songs are shorter: even the longest one is two minutes shorter than the shortest on the other disc. It’s not that heavy either. Of course, it is still sad music, but this part is melancholic. Somehow it even differs in quality. The production is still the same but the songs aren’t that good. Maybe it was because the two records are too long together but after a while it was boring.

All in all, the Belarusians double album is good, especially if you are in the mood for depressing/melancholic stuff, but don’t assume anything super original. Although altogether it was a bit too much for me, I still think that it should be listened to. I am quite sure I will give it another go but for now, I need a break.

Author: GABOR CSETE
Review
Metal Temple
9/10
21.12.2017

WOE UNTO ME is a Funeral Doom Metal band from Belarus, formed in 2008, in the city of Hrodna. They are currently signed to Solitude Productions and released two full-length records on that label. Today we look at the latest one, titled „Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed”. Catchy, isn’t it? The first disk starts with „Triptych – Shiver, Shelter, Shatter”, with a typical doom low-and-slow intro, which morphs into a sorrowful atmospheric vocal part. After the vocal part, it goes into an instrumental doom section, then breaks into a softer atmospheric one for a short time, then with amazing and unique vocals crying out for help. The songs main riff may sound generic at first, but by the 8th minute, you start to appreciate it fully, it’s also the only thing that gets repeated in the whole song, which brings us to another great positive, track one (even though sticking to the same category of emotions) offers much tonal and atmospheric variety. And by the acoustic outro, you’re already invested in the record.

„Of Life That Never Showed It’s Face” starts out differently, more symphonic/quiet build-up, then the acoustics come in and boom, the growling vocals. I gotta say, the dynamic of the growling and singing vocals is awesome. The way the heavy, and almost DSBM-ish parts complete the more melodic and melancholic ones is truly amazing. Glocken section halfway through is also cool. Different structure than it’s predecessor, still works solidly, although the way it’s structured here gives of a somewhat randomish vibe.

„I Come To Naught” again distinguishes itself right from the start, and after the growling part, gives a faster vocal harmony part, interesting stuff. Also, by this time, the record probably made you feel like complete shit, and that’s a big praise, considering it’s genre. Seriously, when the trumpets kick off in the fourth minute, it’s fucking gold. So unexpected, brave, yet organic. Love it. This record overall is basically doom metal OPETH/ENSLAVED. The melodic sad parts are a lot better and immersive than the heavier ones. But the best is when it’s metallic instrumentals and clean vocal harmonies. One little complaint I have is that the harsh vocals try to imitate Mikael Akerfeldt too much and lose their unique edge because of it.

„A Breath Of A Grief” intro mixes the first two songs’ intros, sad and heavy. The first part of this song is really good, the way the growls and the doom guitars mend, with the slow piano in the background, gets you every time. Then a clean singing part with some energetic drumming, these two styles make up the first half of the track, but then, for a few seconds, these two mix, than the whole song just falls apart. This is probably the best composition on the first disk. While the other songs focused on the parallels of melancholic and heavy parts, „A Breath of a Grief” manages to be sad, dramatic, and brutal at the same time, in the same sections, and when it ends with those very few piano notes, it truly brings out the tears.

„Drawn By Mourning” concludes the first, long-song half of the record, with an 18 minute length. The intro this time isn’t as unique, it’s really basic actually, just like the post-intro part, apart from the lead guitars that come in in the third minute which also become rhythm, when another clean guitar comes in. Okay, it’s cool, how these layers of guitars build on each other, and when it ends, it goes into a different, but similar part, but this time again, the vocals of Oleg Vorontsov aren’t fitting in with the instrumentation. Even though this is the longest track on „Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed”. it’s the hardest one to talk about, simply because it’s not that special in the context of the other songs. It’s just a mixture of everything else that has been done with the album, a random guitar solo, that’s solid at best and a good acoustic/clean outro. So, as a whole, it’s still a good song, just unnecessarily long and – to a certain extent – painfully dragged out. That’s where the first disk ends, it’s borderline phenomenal so far…

„In a Stranglehold” starts out the second disk a bit like OPETH’s „Harvest”, but the drums and the bass (which is pleasantly loud) sets it apart, and gives it a unique taste. The following section has an unsettling, yet beautiful atmosphere. As a musical composition, it’s really one dimensional, (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it works) the thing that carries „In a Stranglehold” is the vocal performance and the lyrics, both flawless, especially it’s chemistry with the guitars. It’s shorter length doesn’t hurt either, after the 10-18 length scale of disk 1. „Leave Me to My Sorrows” is the shortest track, it’s basically a continuation of „In a Stranglehold” but not as hard hitting and is more clean electric guitar focused, rather than acoustic. It’s a weaker song than „In a Stranglehold” but overall still enjoyable, in it’s own depressive way.

„Along Came The Imminence” atmospherically resembles „In a Stranglehold” while instrumentally being similar to „Leave Me to My Sorrows” with some little electronic background parts in the beginning, until the electronic parts come in, and then the song jumps into an unusually grandiose vocal part. Honestly, there’s not much else to say about each track. They mostly follow the same formula, they’re really good and relatively original, but there’s not much that sets them apart from the previous tracks on the double effort. So I’d suggest jumping straight to the verdict. WOE UNTO ME’s 2017 LP is a captivating journey of emotions, even though not the most original stuff I ever heard and the creativity comes from small bits of awesomeness, rather than big revolutionary ideas. It’s highly recommended to listen to the whole thing from beginning to end, if you want to be really immersed in the experience.

Author: Erik Akos
Review
All Around Metal
4/5
08.12.2017

In tanti, tantissimi anni che recensisco dischi, il qui presente “Among the Lightened Skies the Voidness Flashed” dei bielorussi Woe Unto Me è stato quasi certamente uno dei più complicati di cui scrivere: un album Funeral Doom – genere che a me piace, sia chiaro – della durata di quasi due ore. Sì, due ore. E’ pur vero comunque, come ho avuto modo di scrivere proprio ieri recensendo gli Apotelesma, che l’etichetta russa Solitude Productions è un segno di qualità assoluta in questo campo. Insomma, per quanto enormemente difficile da “digerire”, questa seconda fatica del sestetto bielorusso risulta essere alla fine un gran bel disco.

“Among the Lightened…” è diviso in due CD, le cui durate singole fan sembrare le due parti come fossero due album a se stanti. Nel primo disco, chiamato “…the Voidness Flashed”, sono concentrati i cinque pezzi più lunghi dell’opera, mentre il secondo (“Among the Lightened Skies”) è strutturalmente più snello, per modo di dire. Pur non mancando i classici momenti claustrofobici del genere, il Funeral Doom dei Woe Unto Me punta molto di più alle atmosfere: la band infatti riesce a dare il proprio meglio in momenti più “ariosi”, in cui il loro stile si sposta su un Doom/Death a fortissime tinte malinconiche, ripercorrendo gli insegnamenti di bands come My Dying Bride e, soprattutto, Shape of Despair; non è un caso, ad esempio, che la lunga parte finale della prima traccia, “Triptych – Shiver, Shelter, Shatter”, sia una delle cose più belle che abbia ascoltato quest’anno. Come detto, comunque, sono le atmosfere il punto di forza dei WuM e per questo c’è da ringraziare soprattutto l’ottimo lavoro alle tastiere svolto da Olga Apisheva, coadiuvata anche dal chitarrista Dzmitry Shchyhlinski. Un’opera, quella della band est-europea, che se ascoltata in determinati momenti non può lasciare indifferenti: l’atmosfera decadente, il mood malinconico di chitarre e piano, la sensazione di ascoltare qualcosa in cui non c’è spazio per la speranza ma solo per tristezza e lutto (“A Breath of a Grief”, “Drawn by Mourning” e “Leave me to my Sorrows” lasciano ben pochi spazi al dubbio, a riguardo)… “Among the Lightened…” è un album che può farvi perfettamente da sottofondo nei momenti in cui vi lasciate andare ai ricordi, nei momenti in cui vi sentite malinconici: è in quei momenti che un disco come questo può entrarvi fin dentro l’anima.

Vero che c’è da superare l’enorme scoglio della lunghissima durata, ma i Woe Unto Me sono stati bravi nel creare un lavoro che riesce ad essere molto emozionante. Dal mio punto di vista, ho trovato i Woe Unto Me una band ostica, ma al contempo capace di creare atmosfere incredibili. Per quanto mi riguarda i WuM sono promossi, pur se non me la sento di consigliare a tutti questo lavoro: dovreste essere degli amanti di queste sonorità per poter entrare in perfetta sintonia con questo disco.

Author: Daniele Ogre
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