Woburn House

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Message To Ourselves Outside The Dreaming Machine (2006), 6.5/10
Monstrous Manoeuvres In The Mushroom Maze (2009), 6/10
Sleep Summer Storm (2012), 5/10

Germany's Woburn House (essentially vocalist-guitarist Christian Kolf with drummer Florian Toyka) delivered a creative variation on doom metal with Message To Ourselves Outside The Dreaming Machine (2006), way more lively than the genre was supposed to sound in the age of "funereal doom". Initially the 16-minute River sounds like a tribute to acid-rock of the 1960s. Then it implodes in quasi-silence and comes back alive as a sort of neoclassical sonata. Picking up steam, the refrain enters pop-doom territory. The 14-minute Motor is even more explicitly melodic, leveraging old-fashioned prog-rock pomp for its poppy post-rock fantasia. The ten-minute Shelter tries to raise the degree of tension and horror but it always decays back to gentle singalong. The thick tapestry of the 14-minute Cord quickly soars like a shoegazing hymn, but is then trapped in a lengthy tormented instrumental bridge before ending in Zen-like tranquillity.

Toyka's side-project Klabautamann (essentially a collaboration with vocalist-guitarist Tim Steffens) offered complex post-metal on Our Journey Through The Woods (2003) and Der Ort (Heavy Horses, 2005).

Island was another Woburn House spin-off, documented on Orakel (Vendlus, 2008), that compiles their first two demos (2004 and 2005).

Woburn House's Monstrous Manoeuvres In The Mushroom Maze (Paradigms, 2009) was a mellower and simpler album than their debut, from the nine-minute Omega (typical of their soft-doom dynamics and of their post-Yes choral vocals) to the 23-minute Transformer (where the slower, gentler, dreamier passages vastly outperform the evil doom passages). The problem with their entire repertory is that their whispered melodies are rather tedious and often end up ruining the stream of consciousness created by the guitars.

Gothic overtones and increasingly disorienting structures turned the band into a prog-rock project on Sleep Summer Storm (Zeitgeister, 2012), whose connection with heavy metal was by then purely historical.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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