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Woe Unto Me - Among the Lighted Skies the Voidness Flashed Award winner

Woe Unto Me
Among the Lighted Skies the Voidness Flashed
by Erik Akos at 21 December 2017, 10:38 AM

WOE UNTO ME is a Funeral Doom Metal band from Belarus, formed in 2008, in the city of Hrodna. They are currently signed to Solitude Productions and released two full-length records on that label. Today we look at the latest one, titled „Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed”. Catchy, isn’t it? The first disk starts with „Triptych – Shiver, Shelter, Shatter”, with a typical doom low-and-slow intro, which morphs into a sorrowful atmospheric vocal part. After the vocal part, it goes into an instrumental doom section, then breaks into a softer atmospheric one for a short time, then with amazing and unique vocals crying out for help. The songs main riff may sound generic at first, but by the 8th minute, you start to appreciate it fully, it’s also the only thing that gets repeated in the whole song, which brings us to another great positive, track one (even though sticking to the same category of emotions) offers much tonal and atmospheric variety. And by the acoustic outro, you’re already invested in the record.

„Of Life That Never Showed It’s Face” starts out differently, more symphonic/quiet build-up, then the acoustics come in and boom, the growling vocals. I gotta say, the dynamic of the growling and singing vocals is awesome. The  way the heavy, and almost DSBM-ish parts complete the more melodic and melancholic ones is truly amazing. Glocken section halfway through is also cool. Different structure than it’s predecessor, still works solidly, although the way it’s structured here gives of a somewhat randomish vibe.

„I Come To Naught” again distinguishes itself right from the start, and after the growling part, gives a faster vocal harmony part, interesting stuff. Also, by this time, the record probably made you feel like complete shit, and that’s a big praise, considering it’s genre. Seriously, when the trumpets kick off in the fourth minute, it’s fucking gold. So unexpected, brave, yet organic. Love it.  This record overall is basically doom metal OPETH/ENSLAVED. The melodic sad parts are a lot better and immersive than the heavier ones. But the best is when it’s metallic instrumentals and clean vocal harmonies. One little complaint I have is that the harsh vocals try to imitate Mikael Akerfeldt too much and lose their unique edge because of it.

„A Breath Of A Grief” intro mixes the first two songs’ intros, sad and heavy. The first part of this song is really good, the way the growls and the doom guitars mend, with the slow piano in the background, gets you every time. Then a clean singing part with some energetic drumming, these two styles make up the first half of the track, but then, for a few seconds, these two mix, than the whole song just falls apart. This is probably the best composition on the first disk. While the other songs focused on the parallels of melancholic and heavy parts, „A Breath of a Grief” manages to be sad, dramatic, and brutal at the same time, in the same sections, and when it ends with those very few piano notes, it truly brings out the tears.

„Drawn By Mourning” concludes the first, long-song half of the record, with an 18 minute length. The intro this time isn’t as unique, it’s really basic actually, just like the post-intro part, apart from the lead guitars that come in in the third minute which also become rhythm, when another clean guitar comes in. Okay, it’s cool, how these layers of guitars build on each other, and when it ends, it goes into a different, but similar part, but this time again, the vocals of Oleg Vorontsov aren’t fitting in with the instrumentation. Even though this is the longest track on „Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed”.  it’s the hardest one to talk about, simply because it’s not that special in the context of the other songs. It’s just a mixture of everything else that has been done with the album, a random guitar solo, that’s solid at best and a good acoustic/clean outro. So, as a whole, it’s still a good song, just unnecessarily long and – to a certain extent – painfully dragged out. That’s where the first disk ends, it’s borderline phenomenal so far…

„In a Stranglehold” starts out the second disk a bit like OPETH’s „Harvest”, but the drums and the bass (which is pleasantly loud) sets it apart, and gives it a unique taste. The following section has an unsettling, yet beautiful atmosphere. As a musical composition, it’s really one dimensional, (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it works) the thing that carries „In a Stranglehold” is the vocal performance and the lyrics, both flawless, especially it’s chemistry with the guitars. It’s shorter length doesn’t hurt either, after the 10-18 length scale of disk 1. „Leave Me to My Sorrows” is the shortest track, it’s basically a continuation of „In a Stranglehold” but not as hard hitting and is more clean electric guitar focused, rather than acoustic. It’s a weaker song than „In a Stranglehold” but overall still enjoyable, in it’s own depressive way.

„Along Came The Imminence” atmospherically resembles „In a Stranglehold” while instrumentally being similar to „Leave Me to My Sorrows” with some little electronic background parts in the beginning, until the electronic parts come in, and then the song jumps into an unusually grandiose vocal part. Honestly, there’s not much else to say about each track. They mostly follow the same formula, they’re really good and relatively original, but there’s not much that sets them apart from the previous tracks on the double effort. So I’d suggest jumping straight to the verdict. WOE UNTO ME’s 2017 LP is a captivating journey of emotions, even though not the most original stuff I ever heard and the creativity comes from small bits of awesomeness, rather than big revolutionary ideas. It’s highly recommended to listen to the whole thing from beginning to end, if you want to be really immersed in the experience.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disk 1:

1. Triptych – Shiver, Shelter, Shatter
2. Of Life That Never Showed Its Face
3. I Come To Naught
4. A Breat Of A Grief
5. Drawn By Mourning

Disk 2:

1. In A Stranglehold
2. Leave Me To My Sorrows
3. Along Came The Imminence
4. Fall-Dyed Lament
5. A Year-Long Waiting
6. My Joy Lies Behind
7. The Snide Sun
Lineup:
Ivan Skrundevskiy - Bass
Dzmitry Shchyhlinski – Guitars, Drums, Keyboards, Samples
Olga Apisheva - Keyboards
Julia Shimanovskaya – Vocals (female)
Artem Serdyuk – Vocals (harsh)
Pavel Shmyga - Drums
Oleg Vorontsov – Vocals (clean)
Record Label: Solitude Productions
     


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