Sunday 13 March 2022

Uncle Woe - Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe (Album Review)

Release Date: March 18th 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD/Vinyl

Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe - Tracklisting

1. We Plant the Seeds for Things We Know will never Grow

2.Lavignia Falls

3.Pretend I'm Dead

4.Merriment Abounds

5.Nine Kinds of Time




Rain Fice - Everything


Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe is the new album from Canadian Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Uncle Woe. Uncle Woe is the work of one solitary person and that is Rain Fice who has steadily been releasing acclaimed releases under the Uncle Woe banner for the last couple of years and this album is their best work and mature offering to date. Taking the Doom Metal stylings of Pallbearer and merging them with Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves of Baroness and Mastodon with the gloomy worldly outlook of Neurosis.

This album is deliberately slow paced with Uncle Woe taking their time building up a steady rhythm on this lengthy album that runs for around seventy minutes in length. There is a lot of variety within the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal department with the record being played and developed in the way of Post-Metal with a bleak Psychedelic edge.

The album opens up with the twelve minute opener We Plant The Seeds For Things We Know That  Never Grow. Yeah, the title is a bit of a mouthful but the song is a mixture of Progressive Doom and Sludge Metal themes with Ambient Textures adding a more distorted sound especially when the down-tuned guitars make an appearance. The different layers of this song can be quite hard to comprehend at first and if you’re expecting a riff fest then you may be disappointed though the music is perhaps described as long drawn out grooves with the song moving into Ambient Metal towards the end of the song.

Second song Lavignia Falls carries on the distorted grooves heard on the opening song but opts for a more Pallbearer based delivery with a bleak Stoner Metal attitude. The vocals are eerie and float in and out for a “dream-like” echo. The song is slow-paced once again but Uncle Woe are in total control and they bring some fantastically heavy guitar sounds that soon move into Post-Rock/Post-Metal territory. 

Ambient Soundscapes are a big part of this album and the album could have easily become distracted by these different sounds but Uncle Woe injects beautifully played strands of Progressive Rock/Metal with different vocal stylings for the majority of the album. The songs are all on the epic side and you may need multiple listens to understand the full desired effect that Uncle Woe has for this album. 

Other standout songs include: Pretend I’m Dead, Nine Kinds Of Time and the thrilling eighteen minute closer Wax.

Wax is the standout track on the album and showcases how Rain Fice has matured as a writer and musician over the last few Uncle Woe releases with this being my favourite musical composition of his that he’s written to date. The song is an epic retelling of what has come before it with Uncle Woe exploring a more Prog Rock/Metal attitude before moving fleetingly into the worlds of Psych Rock, Sludge Metal, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal. The song is quite moving, intense, bleak and surprisingly uplifting as well.

The production on Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe is excellent allowing Uncle Woe to have a solitary and cold based atmosphere that does have moments of real warmth on the later stages of the record.

This album may not be for everyone but for fans of Uncle Woe such as myself, Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe is a beautifully complex and outstanding album that delivers some of the best music Uncle Woe have delivered to date. Awesome stuff…

Words by Steve Howe


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