Woebegone Obscured - Deathscape MMXIV EP (CD)

funeral doom death metal, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
466.67 Р
Price in points: 700 points
SP. 097-14 x
In stock
The new work of the Danish band with two full-length albums in the discography that marked the interesting fusion offuneral doom metal and doom death metal with black metal and ambient influences. «Deathscape MMXIV» reveals thediversity of the band creativity: a variety of doom metal and dark / black metal music elements and two interesting covertracks demonstrating sources of inspiration of Woebegone Obscured including a tough, original interpretation of classic tracks «Call From the Grave» by Bathory and ethereal, but hardened, version of the song «Xavier» by Dead Can Dance.

1 Deathscape MMXIV 9:40
2 Catharsis Of The Vessel 11:13
3 While Dreaming In The Ethereal Garden 04:17
4 Call From The Grave 08:58
5 Xavier 08:21

Woebegone Obscured
Artist Country:
Album Year:
Deathscape MMXIV EP
funeral doom death metal
CD Album
Jewel Case
Solitude Productions
Cat Num:
SP. 097-14
Release Year:
Country Of Manufacture:

Particolari questi danesi. Li si potrebbe collocare nel doom, ma si rischierebbe di commettere un errore di forma. Dietro questo trio c’è di più, a cominciare dalle influenze musicali. Si va dai My Dying Bride ai Katatonia di metà carriera per poi virare nel death più melodico e moderno con reminiscenze degli Arcturus. Tutto questo nelle tracce di questo EP, costruito attorno alla rivisitazione di un pezzo del loro primo album con l’aggiunta di due inediti e due cover (Bathory e Dead Can dance). Al di là delle due cover (comunque convincenti e ben suonate ma troppo fedeli alle originali) i pezzi originali sono tutti da scoprire, nel loro alternarsi di cantato pulito e growl e di arpeggi acustici inseriti in rocciosi riff di matrice doom. Contaminati.

Author: Enrico Burzum Pauletto

Denmark's Woebegone Obscured formed in 2003 and have so far released two full length records, 'Deathstination' (2007) and 'Marrow of Dreams' (2013). Their latest, 'Deathscape MMXIV' came out last year (the title may be a giveaway) and is a long EP clocking in at 42 minutes and comprising three original songs, and two cover versions.

Woebegone Obscured straddle various subgenres on the Doom spectrum, with little bits of Death, Black, Funeral, Atmospheric and Avant-Garde doom all mixed together to create a sound that is familiar without feeling derivative and varied without generating mood whiplash.

If I were to take a lazy approach to summing up Woebegone Obscured's style, I think I would describe them as a doomier Opeth. Progressive song structures meander between Black Metal influenced sections with trem-picked distorted guitars and jazzier clean parts with nice interplay between arpeggios, lead guitars and melodic bass playing. The vocals are extremely varied with death growls, black metal screams and soaring cleans all present, often at the same time.

The clean vocals could possibly divide some fans. For the most part they are in key and sound fine, but do have moments where they seem to drift slightly. There is also something about the voice that catches the ear a little strangely. However, on the whole I do feel they work pretty well. There are a couple of moments when they really hark back to the classic '80s metal wail and I find it difficult not to raise my doom claw in the air and headbang a little.

For me, some of the finest moments on the record come when it is stripped down to just acoustic guitar and subtle keyboards such as on the end of the title track, and the entirety of 'While Dreaming in the Ethereal Garden'. This track in particular is beautiful and really shows the depth of Woebegone Obscured's songwriting. The other songs all contain moments like this in between the heavier sections, and I never really felt that any section had outstayed it's welcome before moving onto something else.

Production-wise the record has a bit of a 'classic' sound. It has a high gain, high mid guitar sound and is drenched in reverb throughout. It definitely goes for a Black Metal sound rather than a Death Metal one, but whilst the overall result is a little raw, it is on the polished end of the raw spectrum (I hope that makes sense!). I think the best word to sum it up is atmospheric, in a way that is often lost when the production becomes too polished. One negative comment I do have to raise is that the timing of the two rhythm guitars panned hard left and right is often a little bit out. This is generally not a problem, but to my (possibly overly trained) ears it is a little bit jarring, especially on the second track 'Catharsis of the Vessel'. This song very much depends on lots of chugging riffs, which end up sounding a little more like ch-chug and not CHUG. The whole thing would sound a little more powerful if this was fixed, but again this can lead to a record sounding sterile and overproduced, which would not fit the band's style.

On to the cover versions then. The first 'Call from the Grave' first appeared on Bathory's classic 1987 album 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark'. Woebegone Obscured's take on this song has been to pretty much play it straight, but at about half the speed. The song itself works ok at this tempo, but to be honest I find it very unsatisfying. The result is that nothing that made the band stand out on the three original tracks is present at all. I feel frankly any band could have taken the source material, played it half speed and it would have sounded pretty much exactly like this. Still, if the band wish to make a tribute to Quorthon then it is certainly not a bad one, and is much better suited to an EP such as this than a full length release.

The second cover song sees Woebegone Obscured joining the parade of Doom bands to have covered Dead Can Dance, with a version of 'Xavier' from 'Within the Realm of a Dying Sun' (as with the Bathory song, released 1987 – not sure if this is just coincidence or if this was a particularly important year to the members of the band). This fits much better with the standout elements of Woebegone Obscured's sound, with the original piano arrangement skilfully redone for acoustic and electric guitars. The clean vocals are at their best here, and though they can't live up to the exceptionally high standards of the original, they don't do badly at all, although the soaring highs do fall a little short. All in all, this is a very successful cover, capturing the original song well, whilst blending in the bands trademark elements seamlessly.

This is a solid release which has intrigued me enough to explore the band's back catalogue. It could be more powerful if it were a little tighter, and I don't think anything would be lost (and perhaps something gained) if the Bathory cover was dropped. A little bit more care could be taken during the recording process to ensure that the clean vocals are more consistently at their best. But these are reasonably minor complaints and definitely not something that should deter any fans of Dark/Extreme Doom from checking it out and making up their own mind.

Author: Kris Clayton

Bereits seit mehr als einer Dekade sind die vier Herren von WOEBEGONE OBSCURED schon aktiv und dennoch fehlte in der Szene bislang offenbar das Interesse an derem angeschwärzten Funeral Doom Metal, gelang es den Dänen doch erst mit der kürzlich veröffentlichten EP namens “DEATHSCAPE MMXIV“ ein breiteres Publikum auf sich aufmerksam zu machen. Dabei hat sich im Vergleich zum Material der bisherigen zwei Platten “DEATHSTINATION“ und “MARROW OF DREAMS“ gar nicht so viel an der musikalischen Ausrichtung der Truppe geändert.

fernab der künstlichen und weichgespülten Synthesizerorgien mancher Kollegen

Erneut ist das skandinavische Quartett im Kielwasser von Kapellen wie MOURNFUL CONGREGATION oder EVOKEN unterwegs und kreiert drei stimmungsvolle Tracks, die fernab der künstlichen und weichgespülten Synthesizerorgien mancher Kollegen mit rifflastigen und eingängigen Arrangements eine durchaus eigene Note mit sich bringen. Dabei bedienen sich WOEBEGONE OBSCURED abseits der genretypischen Elemente weiterhin klirrender Tremolos, filigraner Leads sowie zart gezupfter Akustikgitarren zur Erzeugung einer abwechslungsreichen Instrumentalarbeit, die sich zudem nicht nur auf ein monoton dahinschleppendes Downtempo begrenzt, sondern durch ein dynamisches Schlagzeugspiel einige kraftvolle Momente durchlebt, sodass der rund 10-minütige Titeltrack oder “Catharsis Of The Vessel“ nicht nur als reiner Funeral Doom Metal bezeichnet werden können. Dies unterstreichen WOEBEGONE OBSCURED nicht zuletzt durch den Einsatz von gefühlvollem Klargsang, der im starken Kontrast zu den übrigen Growls steht, im balladesken “While Dreaming In The Ethereal Garden“ leider allerdings auch ein wenig schnulzig wirkt.

Zusätzlich zu den eigenen Kompositionen wurden mit “Call From The Grave“ und “Xavier“ noch zwei eher ungewöhnliche Coverversionen auf “DEATHSCAPE MMXIV“ gepackt. Während der Klassiker von BATHORY ziemlich gelungen im eigenen Stil umgesetzt wurde und auf diese Weise perfekt mit der düsteren Stimmung der restlichen Songs harmoniert, wirkt die Huldigung an DEAD CAN DANCE an dieser Stelle doch eher fehlplatziert.

Somit ist “DEATHSCAPE MMXIV“ eine ansprechende Veröffentlichung, auf der im Rahmen des Funeral Doom Metals viele unterschiedliche Motive auf interessante Art und Weise miteinander vereint werden. Statt der beiden Coversongs wäre allerdings noch ein wenig mehr eigenes Material wünschenswert gewesen.

Author: Urkraft

Már jópár éve, hogy belebotlottam a dán Woebegone Obscured első, még 2007-ben megjelentetett, csúnyácska, amatőr jellegű bemutatkozó albumába, ami Deathstination névre hallgatott. Ugyan nem fedezték fel a black/death/funeral doom keverésének új megközelítéseit, mélységeit, egy nagyon hangulatos anyagnak tartottam a maga módján, főleg, hogy igazi underground sikátorokba kalauzolt el, ahol a műfaj kereteinek tiszteletben tartása mellett még némi kreativitást és egyéniségre való törekvést is fel lehetett fedezni. A folytatásban érkező Marrow Of Dreams (2013-ig váratott magára) már messze nem sikerült olyan bíztatóan, a monumentális dalméretek tartalommal való feltöltése kevésbé sikerült a négy fős társaságnak. Valamit mégis megláthatott/hallhatott bennük a Solitude legénysége, mert új EP-jük már az általánosan jó színvonalú doom produkciókra szakosodott kiadó égisze alatt jelenhetett meg.

A Deathscape MMXIV már messze nem az a piszkos, földalatti siratót tartalmazza, amivel indultak a srácok, a kép sokkal árnyaltabbá, letisztultabbá vált és a 20 perces kéthangos gitárpengetésből, ahova a Marrow idején jutottak, visszatértek a dalszerzéshez. Persze a stílus maradt, úgyhogy nyúlfaroknyi szerzeményekre most sem számíthatunk, a 3 új szerzemény és a két feldolgozásból álló kiadvány album hosszúsággal, bő háromnegyed órával kényezteti a búslakodásra érzékeny füleket. A problémák ezzel természetesen nem tűntek el végleg, a dalszerzésnél ugyanis erősebb az útkereső hangvétel, mint mondjuk annak idején a debütálásnál. Mély hörgéseket, nagysebességű kamerával rögzített videók aláfestéseként is használható lassú riffeket kapunk itt-ott egy kis károgással, akusztikus betétekkel, csellóval és síron túli, engem kifejezetten az Astral Sleepre emlékeztető tiszta énekkel, mindezek külön-külön még erősnek is hangzanak, de dalokká, vagy úgy egyáltalán egységgé nagyon nehezen állnak. A lemez nagy részét erőteljes melankólia hatja át, ritkán tudnak átlépni ezen a vonalon és nyitni a keményebb metal megszólalás felé, de amikor ezt megteszik, sokkal élvezhetőbbé, erősebbé válik az egész produktum. Például a címadó majd tíz perces monotonitása után a Catharsis Of The Vessel utolsó, húzós percei szinte életet leheltek az előzmények miatt kihűlt testembe. Az tiszta ének hiába gyönyörű és minőségi, az sem igazán tudott ébren tartani, mert igazi dallamokat nem sikerült összekalapálni hozzájuk (a már említett finn Astral Sleep köröket ver ezekre), ehhez egészen a While Dreaming In The Ethereal Gardenig kellett várni, ami a maga 4 és fél percével az egész kiadvány csúcspontja. Az első feldolgozás, a Call From The Grave az alapanyag (Bathory) miatt eleve jónak mondható, Quorthon 87-es lemezének témái belassítva is megállják a helyüket, az utolsóként felcsendülő Dead Can Dance feldolgozást pedig egyszer már elsütötte a Paradise Lost, ez pedig a Xavier c. dal. Bizonyítva ismerőseim körében népszerűtlen elméletemet, miszerint a Lost az egyik legtúlértékeltebb zenekar, a dánok feldolgozása, doomosított kiadása sokkal jobban tetszik, így a lemez második legjobb szerzeménye címéig jutott.
Végül nyugtázva, hogy a lemez legjobb dala egy alig 5 perces akusztikus dal és egy feldolgozás, már nem meglepő a pontszám. Ugyan a potenciál megvan a zenekarban és az ötletfoszlányok bőségesen úszkálnak a kialakított masszában, nomeg hangulatilag tökéletesen beleillenek a Solitude repertoárjába, azért kerekebb, erősebb dolgokat kellene az asztalra tenni még a kiadóhoz való felnövéshez.

Author: boymester
Ave Noctum

This EP from Danish funeral-doomsters Woebegone Obscured snuck out at the tail-end of last year, and following on from their 2 full-length releases ‘Deathstination’ and ‘Marrow Of Dreams’, it perfectly showcases the bands fusion of doomy riffs and melancholic ambience, and adds…dare I say it…a touch of the grandiose.

Featuring guest vocals from Barren Earth’s Jon Aldara, ‘Deathscape MMXIV’ is all spindly intro’s before the buzzing riffs kick in and the vocals switch from death metal gargle to black metal rasp. Different lead guitar
styles are used to great effect on this first track as things get increasingly more progressive and we are treated to clean (and almost operatic) vocals and acoustic guitar, with the bitter refrain “Life is not worth the pain”.

The grand vocal style continues with ‘Catharsis of the Vessel’, and from the intro it would appear that we have wandered into some kind of Michael Crawford musical! I don’t say that to take the piss, this is very effective and sounds great when switched with the death vocals and the stabby riffs, leading us on to the folk-infused ‘While Dreaming in the Ethereal Garden’.
For me, this track is a highlight of the EP. All Clean, yearning vocals and sombre ambience, with lyrics such as “…in a cold world, I am left behind” making an impact.

Of the 2 covers that are included here, their take on ‘Xavier’ by Dead Can Dance isn’t a patch on the version that Paradise Lost gave us in 2002, but the Bathory cover is great. ‘Call from the Grave’ has been slowed to a snails pace and that wonderful ‘Funeral March’ guitar solo sounds quite at home in its new brooding and dirge-like surroundings.

‘Deathscape MMXIV’ may only be a EP, but it still clocks in at a respectable 42 minutes or so, and is highly recommended.

Author: Stuart Carroll
Lords of Metal

Solitude Productions en de band heet Woebegone Obscured. Jawel, wederom een funeral death doom loot aan de boom. Ditmaal uit Denemarken en op 24 mei (Eerste Pinksterdag 2015) te zien op Doomsower Mark presents Pentecost Doom feat. Ophis (GER), Marche Funèbre (BEL) and Woebegone Obscured in Little Devil in Tilburg.

Wat meteen opvalt aan deze vijf nummers tellende EP is dat de drie eigen nummers een redelijk eigen gezicht tonen. Men weet de funeral en death doom elementen dusdanig samen te brengen dat je je op geen enkel moment zit af te vragen waar je het ook alweer eerder gehoord hebt. Op zich knap in dit, toch wel, verzadigde genre. De eigen nummers zijn spannend qua opbouw en houden de luisteraar scherp. Behalve die drie nummers komt er ook nog een cover van Bathory’s ‘Call From The Grave’ en ‘Xavier’ van Dead Can Dance voorbij. Ook al is te horen dat het geen eigen nummers zijn toch heeft de band er eigen draai aan weten te geven en klinken ze niet alsof ze niet op de plaat thuishoren.

Author: Marcel H.
Iye Zine

I danesi Woebegone Obscured, dopo due full length, l’ultimo dei quali risalente al 2013 (“Marrow Of Dreams”), si rifanno vivi con questo Ep uscito il mese scorso.

La band nordica è dedita ad un funeral-death doom piuttosto cangiante per gli standard del genere, visto che le consuete partiture plumbee sono spesso alternate ad ariose aperture melodica con tanto di clean vocals: nel precedente album questa soluzione si rivelava sicuramente interessante ma la sensazione era che le varie componenti risultassero ancora piuttosto slegate tra loro.
Vanno senza’altro meglio le cose in Deathscape MMXIV, dove, oltre a due cover, ci vengono proposti circa 25 minuti di musica inedita, tra i quali spiccano la title track, ottimo brano che spiega più di tante parole quale sia il modus operandi degli Woebegone Obscured (un inizio canonico a ritmi lentissimi che si stempera in un intermezzo acustico propedeutico all’ingresso di una stentorea voce pulita), e la bellissima e soave While Dreaming in the Ethereal Garden, traccia che pare uscita da un album della 4AD degli anni ’90.
In mezzo, Catharsis of the Vessel si rivela un episodio leggermente più cervellotico, per quanto non privo di spunti interessanti che mi hanno riportato alla mente una misconosciuta quanto valida band di due decenni fa quali furono i tedeschi Dark Millennium.
L’Ep si chiude con due cover piuttosto impegnative, visti i nomi che sono chiamati in causa, e bisogna dire che i danesi se la cavano bene in entrambe le occasioni, pur dovendo affrontare due stili diametralmente opposti: sia la bathoriana Call From The Grave, sia soprattutto Xavier, una delle canzoni in assoluto più belle (per chi scrive) tra le tante composte dai Dead Can Dance, vengono rese in maniera piuttosto fedele per quanto adeguatamente “doomizzate”.
In fondo, la contrapposizione tra questi due brani è un po’ la fotografia del sound degli Woebegone Obscured, i quali cercano lodevolmente di far convivere queste loro diverse pulsioni riuscendoci tutto sommato abbastanza bene; inoltre depone certamente a loro favore il fatto che, rispetto al precedente album, sia decisamente migliorata la qualità delle clean vocals e sia stato fatto un notevole passo in avanti anche per quanto riguarda la produzione.
Una prova interessante, nel suo complesso, che pone le basi per un’ulteriore progressione della band danese.

Author: Stefano Cavanna
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