Tuesday 20 October 2020

Uncle Woe - Phantomescence (Album Review)

Release date: October 23rd 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Phantomescence  – Tracklisting

1. Become the Ghost
2. On Laden Shores
3. Lucid Degrees of Autoscopic Ruin
4. A Map of Dead Stars 


Nicholas Wowk: Drums, percussion
Rain Fice: Guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards


Uncle Woe are back with their new album Phantomescence and only 12 months since their superb debut album Our Unworn Limbs. The band showed a fine style of Alice In Chains classic Grunge Sound merged with an unforgiving Doom/Stoner Metal atmosphere and the band continue that style of music with their even better follow-up with different melodies and guitar tones allowing the band to perhaps before more creative with their music.

The atmosphere is still quite raw and quite unpolished but it works wonders for Uncle Woe and the opening song Become The Ghost is a gloomy exercise in Apocalyptic Grunge ideas with the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal becoming quite LOUD and ABRUPT in all the right places. The vocals sound like the real deal and you can hear the emotional intensity coming from Rain's vocals and the lyrics add a more human feel to the overall sound of the album.

Second song - On Laden Shores - is the first of two epic songs running past the 13 minute mark the band have included on this album and it's another gloomy and emotional affair with jagged guitars adding a mellow psychedelic edge. The band slowly take their time playing the heavy grooves and go for a more claustrophobic and cautious approach and dare I say "semi-acoustic" in places. The dual vocals from Rice and Nicholas compliment each other superbly well. There's a lot to go through on this song and if you dig YOB and Pallbearer then expect a similar style of Emotional Doom Rock those great bands play.

Third song - Lucid Degrees Of Autoscopic Ruin - sees Uncle Woe deliver a perfect balance of Post-Metal ideals with their familiar style of Sludge/Grunge/Doom/Stoner Metal vibes being added for dramatic effect. It's another slow-burning song and whilst it's quite heavy, Uncle Woe adapt a more Drone/Post-Rock delivery on this track compared to the other songs on the album.

The final song - A Map Of Dead Stars - is one final round of Progressive Doom based music that lasts for 13 minutes or so. The claustrophobic mood is daunting and the music even nightmarish and distorted that you would expect. The intense drumming and slow-paced guitars are the best parts of this song with the vocals and lyrics not too far behind. The sound and tone of the album is bombastic from start to finish but it works to Uncle Woe's favour and the production is quite superb despite the guys recording this album in their respective home studios during the months of COVID-19 lockdown.

Phantomescence is a deeply rich and emotional album that sees Uncle Woe release another excellent album and I can see these guys causing waves within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal world with this outstanding record.

Words by Steve Howe

Phantomescence will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 23rd 2020. 

Thanks to Asher Media Relations for the promo.


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