Saturday 3 April 2021

Uncle Woe - Don't Look Down (EP Review)


Release date: March 30th 2021. Label: Self Released. Format: DD 

Don’t Look Down – Tracklisting

1.Keep the Dead Parts Around 09:17
2.That's Not the Sun 03:24
3.Casket Masquerade 13:07


Don’t Look Down is the new EP from Canadian Progressive Sludge Rockers Uncle Woe and comes a month after their last release Seasick & Old Friends which I originally missed. The band also released their their last album Phantomescence back in Oct 2020. So I was excited to hear what the band have been upto recently.

Don’t Look Down is almost 26 minutes long spread across 3 tracks. The band offer 2 epic songs and one running under 4 minutes. The production is quite raw with the band recording the whole EP in double quick time during March 2021. About a week and a half I believe. This is still a well-produced and fantastic sounding record.

The first song – Keep The Dead Parts Around – sees Uncle Woe bring their usual style of Psychedelic Sludge and Progressive Stoner Metal based grooves fused around superb vocals. The music is the main thing here with a “Post-metallic” element being the main driving force. There are other elements such as Psych Rock and Doom Metal allowing Uncle Woe to create a world-weary and slightly depressing feel. Though the Post-Rock/Post-Metal dynamic has it’s fair share of cool moments as well.

Second song – That’s Not The Sun – is a sullen Post-Doom and almost Folk based interlude with an “EARTH” style Drone atmosphere before heavier sounds appear to give this song a more nightmarish feel. This is my favourite song on the record despite it being the shortest. As it shows a wealth of creativity with a sense of gloomy minimalism I didn’t expect to hear on this release.

The final song – Casket Masquerade – is 13 minutes of Uncle Woe channelling their inner “NEUROSIS/YOB” riff-worship. Well that’s the idea I get from this track. Uncle Woe play a slow-brooding style of music that captures the bleaker elements of Post-Doom/Post-Metal at it’s very best. The song does start off very slow before moving at a faster pace with the song becoming ever slightly more hopeful but not venturing far away from it’s Doom based message.

Don’t Look Down is a bleak and thrilling ride into Uncle Woe’s dark world that sees the band releasing another excellent record to impress their fan-base with and possibly gain a few more admirers along the way.

Words by Steve Howe


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