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Womb (Spain) : Deception Through Your Lies

A very traditionally '90s Peaceville Death/Doom debut from Spain's Womb.

Concerning myself generally these days, amongst the realms of Doom at any rate, with all things 'Post', 'Sludge' and 'Trad', it raises both an eyebrow and a smile when one hears the periodic murmurs that any one of these particular scenes are running out of ideas and begining to stagnate in a lethargic soup of yesterdays riffs. For me the world of Death/Doom (or any other genre you'd care to name come to think of it) can appear equally guilty of this at times. Spain's Womb are probably not going to change my mind any time soon in that regard, but at the same time I never tire of being reminded why I fell in love with the nascent scene back in the early nineties, and their debut full length, 'Deception Through Your Lies', has gone some way in doing just that. Perhaps, paradoxically, it also brings to mind some of the reasons I moved away from that particular scene and back to the more Traditional/Proto sounding stuff after the turn of the millennium, feeling that the whole thing was begining to lose its edge.

If it takes a little time to get going, it is worth persevering with. Opening track 'Echoes of our Scars' begins as a slow keyboard led, funereal paced dirge which eventually opens out into a mid-tempo, melodically infused dance, bringing to mind the trance-like sadness of Alcest, who I was reminded of more than once whilst listening to this. The only difference being the vocals, which are for the most part, a rich low end death growl. Third track 'March' really adds some colour to the procedings as it romps along, equally epic and energetic, and yet at the same time losing none of the mournful introspection that Womb appear to be rather good at, even if they are a little repetetive with it too.

Penultimate track 'Equidistant' and album closer 'Forgotten by Her Bliss' don't really add much to the proceedings but neither, it has to be said, do they completely disappoint. By now, Womb's stall has been well and truly set out, and it appears they offer no hidden extras or clever suprises to pepper their stoical, depressive, and at times pedestrian Death/Doom with. Resplendent too, on occasion, with touches of My Dying Bride's early sparseness, they court this similarity as both a blessing and a curse. When it's done well, it's brilliant; but at the same time it is still only mimickry.

The raw and somewhat meagre-sounding production ably compliments the pain and hurt presumably contained within the lyrics and the lead guitars punctuate the music with early Ahab-like atmospheres. One or two quieter breakdowns do add a certain dynamic to the album and there are rare moments of cathartic emotional uplift where the band really do hit the Death/Doom nail squarely on the head. They just don't stay there long enough for my money.

Albums such as this are tricky ones to score really. Most of us will have heard it all before, and yet that shouldn't be held against Womb purely for the sake of it. I'm all for bands playing it straight when it comes to their chosen genres, but I'm not entirely sure how to sum it all up either. So why not add a point to the mark below if you love genre-savvy Death/Doom and nothing else, and take one away if you're not easily impressed or feel that innovation is the only thing worth anything these days. Whatever the outcome, Womb do find themselves very much at home with Hypnotic Dirge and Solitude Productions doing their distribution. Labels whose earnest desire to keep certain fires burning, regardless of trends, is more than commendable.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Echoes Of Our Scars
2. Ends
3. March
4. Equidistant
5. Forgotten By Her Bliss

Duration : Approx. 34 minutes

Visit the Womb (Spain) bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-10-01 by Matt Halsey
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