Published Jan 21, 2014As a healthy number of established funeral doom acts attain career-level highs in both exposure and creativity, Danish four-piece Woebegone Obscured enter the fray following a seven-year hiatus and prove to be more than capable of matching the efforts of their contemporaries. Essentially unifying the romantic melancholy of Mournful Congregation with the more ethereal death/doom of early Anathema, Marrow of Dreams is a resounding success, proving that a 79-minute album at largely lethargic tempos need not rely upon unnecessary filler to hold the listener's interest.
Tempering the group's languishing sprawl is a knack for peppering their fifteen-minute-plus epics with tastefully palm-muted crunch, creating a pummeling counterpoint to what may have otherwise tapered into a competent genre offering. This deft balancing of atmosphere and deliberately-paced aggression is reinforced by a vocal approach that blends the expected cavernous growls with lilting melodies, recalling the less accessible moments of Novembre or even Alcest. Rounded off with a study, warm production that bests the sonic heft of many better-funded veterans of the game, the record displays remarkable progression for what amounts to a sophomore outing, however delayed. Marrow of Dreams is sure to be one of the more slept-on efforts of the year, and a definite must for aficionados of the style. (I, Voidhanger Records)