WoebegoneThis 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.

(7.5/10 Stuart Carroll)