Ever Circling Wolves come from Helsinki and, therefore, their provenance is a sort of quality mark when it comes to death doom with melodic inclinations. Despite this, the presumably strong influences of Swallow The Sun and co. are not felt so much, because ours prefer a rather particular approach, relying mostly on a dry and rhythmic riffing and giving up substantially the contribution of keyboards. Also for this reason the work, as well as the sound of the band, appears jumping and sometimes dispersive at a first listening: not by chance the best is perceived in the most conventional episodes, those in which the sound slows down letting itself be guided by the guitar melodies. Emblematic in this sense is the final track These Are Ashes, These Are Roots, perfect exhibition of death doom painful and melancholic, but all this should not suggest that the rest of the work is negligible: simply Of Woe Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gloom is the typical album that needs several listens before being assimilated at its best, because of the explicit intent, by Ever Circling Wolves, not to flatten on the positions of the leading bands, trying instead to find a sufficiently personal way. The operation succeeds quite well, since the death doom of the band from Helsinki, streaked with intriguing shades of sludge (Haunted) and post-metal (Challenger Deep), convinces in the long run, although then are still the most classic episodes to stand out for their melodic and emotional load (along with the already mentioned These Are Ashes, These Are Roots, should also be reported In The Trench). Very interesting is also a song like Lenore, with a particular development since, after a half made of a quite compact riffing, it opens in a choral part in Novembers Doom style, and then flows into a beautiful guitar crescendo, first electric and then acoustic. The album has had a long gestation, since part of the songs finds its genesis at the beginning of the decade, immediately after the release of the debut full length The Silence From Your Room, and this suggests that the different stylistic rivulets found in the work are due to the inevitable passage of time, as well as the evolution of musicians by Otto Forsberg and Henri Harell. Ultimately, Of Woe Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Gloom is a very good record (as well as a nice title), but it needs a few more listens than it should be in order to grasp the essence and, perhaps, really learn how to stop worrying, accepting the dark side of existence.

2017 – Cimmerian Shade Recordings