Woburn House – Message to Ourselves outside the Dreaming Machine

I finally got round to uploading another review, though this one is rather old (the album was released in 2006 and the review itself was written in 2007).

Woburn House are a relatively unknown bunch hailing from Bonn, Germany. They play a unique blend of post metal taking cues from established names like “Isis” or “Pelican” but add their own special touch. They are signed to the “Paradigms Recordings” label that has a lot of small yet promising artists.

With their debut album, the Germans prove they are a force to be reckoned with in a genre that has seen a boom in the last few years. Their sound can be as heavy as early “Pelican” and at the same time as refined as bands like “Explosions in the Sky”. But where they really shine is the use of vocals in their songs. The combination of Aaron Turner like growls and psalm like hypnotic chants (not unlike psychedelic stoner outfit “OM” or the British band “Manatees”) works really well.
The vocals usually take on a chorus like position in the songs, whereas the instrumental parts are used to built up tension and atmosphere in true post rock style or provide a long bridge. But the riffs are generally a lot harder than most post rock so metal heads should be happy about this. The vocals keep the ten minute plus songs interesting and varied. But to break this album apart into several songs would be a mistake. It should be listened to in its entirety to catch the full essence and flow.

Of course they are not “Neurosis” yet and sometimes transitions are rather brute or clumsy. Because the band is only a three piece their pallet of noise comes of a little thin at times. But there is certainly a lot of potential here in all areas. The abstract lyrics fit the cover and tittle of the album. I particularly enjoyed the second track “Motor”.

Paradigms Recordings , October 2006
Written 17/02/2007

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