If one were to look through the history books, one would not find it difficult to see that some of the most poignant and powerful pieces of art have been spawned into existence from dark and terrible places. While imprisoned in Bastille, Marquis De Sade crafted what he considered to be his masterpiece, "120 Days In Sodom", a violent tome of torture and sadomasachism that has yet to be rivaled since it was finished in 1785.
As we fast forward to the present, we're introduced to Woebegone Obscured's debut opus, Deathstination. The record was conceived at a time when drummer/vocalist D Woe was imprisoned within a mental asylum. The album was released in 2007 by the band, but I Voidhanger Records has finally made this funeral death/doom manifesto available for the eager metal public.
Funeral Doom has always been a genre that is very hit or miss for me. However, unlike many of their contemporaries, the genuine pain, loathing, and sadness that Woebegone Obscured presents on Deathstination is so sincere that I can't help but be sucked in repeatedly. Acting as an audio funeral dirge, the five songs that make up Deathstination represent 45 minutes of absolute punishment upon the listener. If I'm not in the right mood to listen to this album intently, the experience is rather uncomfortable and that's likely how the band intended for it to be. I can't fault someone for knowing what they want, even at the expense of my own personal sanity.
I'd also like to commend the guys in Woebegone Obscured for the filth-encrusted production here. I'm tired of bands that require a certain amount of atmosphere taking the route of audio sterilzation. Songs like monolithic opener, "A Gust of Demention", as well as instrumental interlude "Stalactite" absolutely blossom as a result of the raw sound on this LP. The vocals and instrumentation revel in an almost abyssic depth, while the band continuously finds ways to highlight their brand of funeral doom with enough interesting melodies and changes in atmosphere to keep even the newest n00bs of funeral doom/death metal engaged.
If you're a fan of the dark, the desperate, and the self-destructive, don't hesitate to add this to your collection. In the same breath, be warned. This is not a place you'd like to stay.
1. A Gust Of Demention
3. Coils Of Inane Comatose
4. Stalactites Deathscape