Monday, 21 October 2013

Review: Woccon - The Wither Fields

So, welcome to the blog. It's just me, some random guy on the internet ranting about music like the other 400,000-odd people doing the same thing. "But it's about rock!" So are most of them. "It might be funny!" So are the good ones. "Why should I read your's?" Because I'm brutally honest and critical to a fault? Sure, let's go with that. Oh, and sorry if the format is weird for the first couple of posts, I'm still trying to brush up on my HTML.

This is all about music reviews, in case you were dropped on your head as a child, and most of them rock or metal. There might be the occasional post about other genres like electro, jazz and contemporary string stuff. Maybe even pop if I can find at least one good thing to say about it. I mean, it's much more fun to bring someone up just to bring them crashing down again, isn't it?

So first up for dissection is the 2012 album, The Wither Fields by Woccon. They're an American melodic-doom/death metal band from Georgia, which isn't promising. The only good thing that's really come out of there is the occasional southern belle but apart from that it's just rampant racism and neighbouring the USA's loony bin (aka Florida). Before I even get to the music, you guys really couldn't have picked a less niche genre of metal? I mean, you're already limiting yourself to the guys that like melo-death and then again to the guys that like doom metal! Way to choose the road to success. But if they're doing it for the love of the music, fine by me. I don't know why they'd ever release it on iTunes, Bandcamp, Reverbnation, Soundcloud and YouTube if it was for that, but I digress.

Here's the third track from the album. Give it a proper listen. That means stop reading this. Seriously, just close your eyes, sit back and listen to it. Don't worry, I'll put something HUGELY OBVIOUS SO YOU DON'T LOOSE YOUR PLACE here.

In case you haven't noticed, the song's pretty good. Well, this is a great way to start a cynical music blog, something positive! Fan-fucking-tastic. Looks like I'm going to have to resort to the fallback for all negative reviewers, nitpicking. The drumming on the first track is incredibly boring, even more so than Lars Ulrich's on Metallica's St. Anger (more on that in the next post). It's just constant double kick and no variation! Yes, I get that it's hard, but variety is nice too! I feel like I have to tell that to every tech-death band out there. "Oh, you can sweep," I would start with, "now do something else! I don't care if you decide to tap a little or play while swinging a cat above your head with your teeth, just change it up a little!" The drumming everywhere else is fine though.

The cover art is really boring and cliche. That's really all I've got for the negatives. Seriously, it's a damn good album, so I should probably tell you why. Everything about the album screams (and growls) doom atmosphere. It's slow and perfect for walking through a forest in the fall, providing you don't start singing along. It really creeps out people who are out walking their dogs when you walk by growling unintelligibly. Don't ask me how I know. The guitar tone is great, and the reversed riff at the beginning of "Lament" is really creative. Most of the guitar work is simple but doesn't need to be complex; it sounds genuinely nice. Since it's doom/death, you can't hear the bass at all, so I can't really comment on it. Lastly, there's clean vocals. They're all right, again, nothing too technical. Like everything else, they work towards building the atmosphere the album's going for.

I'm trying to think of more ways to pad this out, but I can't think of anything. Damn, now I know why Metal Hammer keeps most of their reviews to just a paragraph. All I can really say at this point is go get the album on bandcamp or iTunes. Everyone that likes metal should have a copy of this and they deserve every bit of attention they get.

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