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
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).
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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