Woebegone Obscured – Deathscape MMXIV

Denmark’s Woebegone Obscured, after two full lengths, the last of which dates back to 2013 (Marrow Of Dreams), come alive again with this ep released last month. The Nordic band is dedicated to a funeral death doom that is rather changing by the standards of the genre, since the usual leaden scores are often alternated to airy melodic openings with clean vocals: in the previous album this solution was certainly interesting, but the feeling was that the various components were still rather disconnected from each other. Things are certainly better in Deathscape MMXIV, where, in addition to two covers, we are offered about 25 minutes of unreleased music, including the title track, an excellent track that explains more than many words what is the modus operandi of Woebegone Obscured (a canonical beginning with very slow rhythms that dissolves in an acoustic interlude preparatory to the entrance of a stentorian clean voice), and the beautiful and suave While Dreaming In The Ethereal Garden, a track that seems to come out from a 4AD album of the 90s. In the middle, Catharsis Of The Vessel turns out to be a slightly more cerebral episode, though not without interesting ideas that reminded me of an unrecognized but good band from two decades ago, the Germans Dark Millennium. The ep closes with two covers that are quite challenging, given the names that are involved, and it must be said that the Danes do well on both occasions, despite having to deal with two diametrically opposed styles: both the bathorian Call From The Grave, and especially Xavier, one of the most beautiful songs ever (for me) among the many composed by Dead Can Dance, are rendered in a fairly faithful way although adequately “doomized”. Basically, the contrast between these two songs is a bit the picture of Woebegone Obscured‘s sound, which praiseworthy try to make these different drives coexist and succeed in doing so quite well; moreover, it is certainly in their favour that, compared to the previous album, the quality of the clean vocals has definitely improved and that a considerable step forward has been made with regards to the production. An interesting test, as a whole, which lays the foundations for further progression of the Danish band.

2014 – Solitude Productions