Woebegone Obscured - _Deathstination_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2011)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
Let me reiterate what's been written on the back cover of the booklet -- a simple, stark truth we have all been storing at the back of our heads, knowing it all too well yet denying it altogether: "Remember you mean nothing to the world". With this simple yet effective fact as a constant reminder to us all, we can delve into the secrets, punishments and atrocities lurking within the deep, deep shadows of _Deathstination_.

Now, if we, the dwellers of the underground, would have ever conjured any kind of a manifesto, I'd like to suggest one version out of many:

"We, creatures of the night, do not seek entertainment, nor fun nor enjoyment. We seek pain, aural or otherwise, but pain non the less that will re-awaken us from numbness and sweet apathy; pain that will constantly remind us we are alive; that our mission on this sad, blue orb of water, land and tears, has not finished yet; maybe has not even begun yet..."

So yeah, as strange as it might sound, I do not seek for pleasure in my music. As mentioned in the Malasangre review, pleasure in underground, non-commercial, counter-cultural music is a bi-product, not the necessary goal. I'd rather have listened to music that induces pain, reflection, emotional and physical torture; music that is challenging, scary, wild, psychotic, sociopathic, outlandish or transcendental -- than anything devoid of the aforementioned qualities, but created solely for the purpose of giving pleasure, like an empty-eyed, empty-skulled porno queen...

...which brings us to _Deathstination_.

Woebegone Obscured's _Deathstination_ is as ugly as it gets, with not a single shred of merciful, blissful moment that will please and appease you (well, maybe the instrumental, three-something minutes track _Stalactites_, but that one doesn't really count).

As is the case with Midnight Odyssey's excellent _Firmament_ album, that had been recorded and independently released by the band only to be re-issued a couple of years later by I, Voidhanger Records, so is the case with _Deathstindation_, recorded in 2007 and re-issued in 2011 by the very same superb Italian sub-label.

The sound has not been tempered with, which means, in this case, it has remained underground, dirty and muffled, so you'd need a good stereo system in order to "enjoy" the music, which is bass-heavy and likes more often than not to flirt with the lowest frequencies on the scale. These production values, which have not exhibited the most finesse of sounds, to use an understatement, shroud the music with an even darker, more mysterious veil, rendering the overall atmosphere almost impenetrable and suffocatingly heavy.

The brand of funeral doom displayed on _Deathstination_ is bleak, purposely unmelodious, skeletal and enigmatic; it's not beautiful, it's not even appealing and the very concept of euphony is almost absent from this recording altogether. It is the very antithesis of the melodic bunch of funeral doom bands, and other than the slow pace, shares nothing in common with its peers. If you are a fan of names such as Ea, Remembrance or even the latter outputs by Shape of Despair, than _Deathstination_ is definitely not for you.

However, fans of bleaker, much bleaker doom/death-meets-funeral-doom a sound, stripped of any manners, doom clich├ęs or niceties, that dig Worship, Malasangre, Mournful Congregation or Woebegone Obscured's Danish peers, namely Obskure Torture, and think these bands are their kind of "fun music", must check out these bestial masters of sonic pain and crude, unmerciful "enjoyment".

Let me reiterate, as this is the overwhelming feeling that lingers on, when the last sounds of this album will have died: you mean nothing to the world...

Contact: http://www.i-voidhanger.com/

(article published 13/8/2012)

3/3/2015 C Drishner 9 Woebegone Obscured - Deathscape MMXIV
3/21/2014 C Drishner 8.5 Woebegone Obscured - Marrow of Dreams
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