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Woe Unto Me – Spiral Shaped Hopewreck

Woe Unto Me
Spiral Shaped Hopewreck
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 03 May 2021, 6:36 AM

WOE UNTO ME is a doom metal band from Belarus who formed in 2008. They have released two full length albums and this latest release "Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck" is their first EP. I discovered this band just weeks before receiving this promo for review. Their previous album, " Among the Lightened Skies the Voidness Flashed" is a sprawling doom epic and an album that over the last few weeks found rather enjoyable. Obviously a thirty minute EP cannot be compared on the same scale but that doesn't mean this mini album is any less potent.

"Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck" is an EP that needs to be listened the whole way through for the better experience.  Of the seven tracks, the title track is the only original full length song.  Four of the tracks are short instrumentals and two others are covers. With that being said, the band made the entire album flow as one long piece with the instrumentals being the glue that holds it all together. It is a very clever idea that the cover songs also fit seamlessly into the flow of the album. The titles of the track listing, cover songs included, read in order and further cement the idea of the EP basically being one long movement.

I have not heard the original version of KLONE's "Sad and Slow" but the song does fit into the album's overall themes. It has a very sullen feel to it, almost a desperate mood. The melodic guitars and clean vocals definitely feel like the general atmosphere of the band. The MESHUGGAH cover of "Lethargica" is certainly an interesting cover choice.  Their very dissonant sound seems far removed from doom but the band covers it well. It doesn't sound too different from the original but they sure covered it in doom.

The centerpiece of the album is, of course, the title track which is easily one of the best songs the band has done from what I've heard of them. If this song is any indication of their future, then the band's career is looking very solid. This mini epic is nearly twelve minutes in length. Oleg's vocals continue to improve as do Artyom's growls.  The beginning of the song is heavy, bringing the doom but not afraid to slow it down to clean notes. Like the unpredictable water of the oceans, the song drifts back and forth between violent surges and calmness. The guitar solo around the four minute mark is both moving and virtuous. The bass is a highlight throughout the album but especially when the lead guitar shines well. Many moods are covered during the song, everything from sorrow to anger which gives the song not only a lot of variety but also a different feel than most other doom I've heard this year. It may not have a lot of original content but the idea of this EP and the layout/flow of the tracks is very impressive.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. And Every Piece of a Being Was Washed Away by the
2. Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck
3. Dissolving and Then Forming a New Image, So
4. Sad and Slow
5. Sowing Itself Like Seeds Into the Soil, Becoming a Chrysalis in the State of
6. Lethargica
7. Only to Wake Up in the Reality of Chaos and Burn Its Wings of Creation
Ivan Skrundevskiy - Bass
Dzmitry Shchyhlinski - Guitars (rhythm)
Olga Apisheva - Keyboards
Artem Serdyuk - Vocals (harsh), Guitars
Pavel Shmyga - Drums
Igor Kovalev - Vocals (clean), Samples, Keyboards
Record Label: Solitude Productions


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