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Its taken me a long time to get around to listening to Woebegone Obscured’s debut, ‘Deathstination’, a record based around a rather obvious, but effectively apt pun that describes precisely what we, the listener, will face on our travels through the realms of the pits of Hell. Having just been acquainted with our death, after a life of being subjected to torments, both mentally and physically, we’re now subjected to an afterlife of suffering the eternal torment of a place in Hell’s underworld forever more. Woebegone Obscured are a devilish incarnation within the funeral doom scene, but interestingly enough, this Danish two piece band also acquaint themselves well with the black and death genres of metal. So much so that they’re now all best friends and life unhappily ever after together, like a sadistic fairytale in which the prince’s potential bride is mutilated by the slashing guitars, or the prince himself has suffered the fate of being pummelled to death by the unadventurous, but altogether murderous drums which pound solidly down upon his head, blow after blow without ever flinching at the amount of blood pouring from the skull of the soon to be deceased hero. This story is one of masochism, sadism and intent to destroy the listeners purist soul with the temptations of the Devil himself. Lucidly inspiring visions of another horrifying holocaust, Woebegone Obscured have something outstanding to offer the repetitive funeral scene with their own funerary sound that takes outside influences and mixes them with ease into the routine approach. Gigantic soundscapes, coupled with inspiring individual performances make this atmospheric piece a gem to the funeral scene.
In some ways, this surprising Danish band remind me of the infamous Disembowelment, whose grandiose Australian ways have granted them a place in the history books and the hearts of many, many fans across the globe. This perhaps inaccessible style isn’t going to suit the needs of everyone, but for the tired funeral doom fan in search of something different from the formulaic standards of the slow paced and unwitting sub-genre of doom, this is the place to be so look no further than ‘Deathstination’ for your kicks and toil in the experimentation that Woebegone Obscured have inflicted on this record. This aptly named debut full-length cannot be given the same treatment as its peers because it does not strictly belong with them, although the funeral doom tag will most certainly have them placed alongside some of the dullest bands known to man. This interesting hybrid have so much character that if they were to share their talents and gifts of experimenting with dull funeral doom bands like Waverly Hills, they could force those acts to become interesting whilst still maintaining high levels of intrigue themselves. This Danish outfit have a lot going for them, its just a shame so little information is held on them. Supposedly they’re still active, so that’s a positive and having been so reluctant to listen to this band to begin with, in fear of it being another drab session of slow paced funeral doom with next to no atmosphere, I’m left craving more of this demonic band and its fresh conjurations as it fuses black, death and doom together effortlessly.
The best example of the bands talents can be found on the inexplicably brilliant ‘Maestitia’, which affectively combines all three aforementioned genres into one through using slow to mid to fast paced tempos, clean and harsh vocals, as well as differing and varied atmospheric tendencies that lean towards black metal for a brief period with some clichéd rasping vocals, then turn their hand at the death scene with the important percussion blasts, before returning to the overwhelming evident funeral doom base that lays the foundations and supports much of the atmosphere present like scaffolding. Though certain influences and aspects of the instrumentation and vocals may be included in scarcities, they’re nevertheless still as important as the formulaic and consistent elements that stride along with grace. Take the clean vocals, as an example. I didn’t expect this area of music to be found here, on a funeral doom record and though they’re use sparingly, they’re effective in their conjuration of emotions that the harsh vocals cannot portray. The hollow pain is evident. Numbing bodies prepared for death are greeted by the adventurous double bass of the percussion which takes influence from the death metal scene with its constant kicking effects and the slowly induced atmospheres that seep out and on to the soundscapes like paint on a blank canvas are typical of funeral doom. The echo that the bass and guitars provide is formulaic too, but dynamic enough to warrant praise. Unlike other funeral doom bands, Woebegone Obscured like the challenge that being a hybrid comes with. This experimental piece is brave and daring. In being so, it pays dividends to the listener as it preaches a message of imminent death and the ending of life on a huge scale. As the additional information states, there is no happiness to be found here, only depression and suicide solutions.