A few days ago, connecting to Facebook, I found this message “…if you like Daylight Dies and Swallow The Sun, try listening to this…”. For someone like me these two bands constitute a formidable lure, so I clicked the link without hesitating even for a moment: the result was the discovery of the very interesting Woccon. The rather peculiar moniker refers to a small North Carolina Indian tribe, although the band is originally from Georgia, to be precise Athens, a city that counts among its most illustrious children a rock icon like R.E.M. Obviously, ours musically have little or nothing to do with the famous fellow citizens, since their proposal, as one can easily guess from the names they refer to, is made of elegant and melodic death doom. The band led by guitarist and vocalist Tim Rowland, with The Wither Fields arrives at its second ep, after last year’s debut titled Through Ancestral Fires, showing that it has already acquired a remarkable compositional maturity; listening to the four tracks contained in the work flows really nicely and leaves some regrets only for the limited duration. In examining “track by track” for once I will start from the coda, that is, from A Falling Devotion because it is the only episode for which I feel I can make a small criticism of the U.S. guys: not so much for the value of the song itself, which is absolutely up to the mark, but for having also fallen into the temptation of making use of a female voice. Mind you, the talented Lili does her job very well, but in the genre proposed by Woccon this solution seems a bit forced: in fact, the song, when Tim exhibits his excellent growl, releases an emotional tension that fatally ends up waning the moment the sound has to prepare itself to accommodate a voice with a totally different setting. The other three tracks, however, present us with a band with rather clear ideas, leaning toward a form of death doom with less catacomb-like traits than the average and which could be described as a successful mix between Swallow The Sun and our own Valkiria; in particular Lament, which constitutes the album’s artistic peak, would not have disfigured at all within a record of the value of Here Comes The Day, especially for a guitar work that closely resembles that of Valkus and Mike. The road taken by Woccon certainly seems to be the right one: The Wither Fields proves to be a high-quality product that bodes well for an interesting future for the Georgia band. The goals for the future must be basically two: the first is to further personalize the sound, to avoid a few too many similarities with all the bands mentioned as sources of inspiration, while the second is to find a forward-looking label that will be captivated by the content of this ep.
So, labels everywhere, step up !
2013 – Deatbound Records