Beneath Oblivion

Album Title: 
The Wayward And The Lost
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Review Type: 

In their fifteen years of existence, Cincinnati (Ohio) based horde Beneath Oblivion recorded and released not that much, yet then again quite spectacular and impressing things. Unfortunately, after 2011’s full length From Man To Dust (released via an underestimated yet cool label, The Mylene Sheath) I did not hear anything from this quartet (original member / vocalist / guitarist Scotty T. Simpson, bass player Keith Messerle, drummer Nate Didwell and guitarist Allen L. Scott II) anymore. I have no idea whether they did split up, whether they were on a break, or just slumbering for a while, but earlier this year Weird Truth Productions from Japan informed me about a new album by these American doomsters. Imagine my arousal… Doom and happiness, it is possible…

This third full length album was produced, engineered and mixed at the Everything Hz Studio (and some production in Cloud City Studio with the band involved) by no one else but famous Billy Anderson (think: Neurosis, Eyehategod, Witch Mountain, Acid King, Amenra and hundreds of others), who worked with this band before, and mastered by Andy Perkins (Litterbox Studio), not a stranger either to the band. The Wayward And The Lost gets released in a digipack format, and it consists of five compositions with, as usual, an impressive length (seven to sixteen minutes, with a total running time of more than an hour). The layout and artwork were done once more by guitar player Allen.

The Wayward And The Lost is a conceptual album, dealing with addiction, man’s sick mental state of mind, loss and despair as a lost human entity in a weird, chaotic society. Expect no joy, no hope, no solution; there’s only one solution: escaping (from / within) life…

This fine happening-in-man’s-life gets translated perfectly through these five hymns of negativism and anti, well, anti-about-everything. All five pisses, sorry, peaces, no, I mean pieces (no peace, yet pissing on existence, so there is a link…) tell a story of sadness, despair, disgust, escapism, nothingness and hopelessness, through majestic and gargantuan Doom epics. The Wayward And The Loss stands for melancholic yet melodious Funeral Doom with a huge dose of Doom-Death elements, and many influences from Black Metal (more specific: the DSBM-scene, aka Depressive Suicidal Black Metal) and Blackened Sludgecore. Massive guitar walls (electric and bass guitars) and slowly pounding drum patterns interact terribly well with sulphuric blackened growls / screams (fine symbiosis; and also including whispers and spoken words, evidently), injected by depressing / melancholic (semi) acoustic intermezzi and permanently supported / darkened by Arctic-icy and saddening keyboard lines.

There is a certain variation in the speed, but believe me when I say (or write, in this case) that everything dwells in between slow and even slower. Seen the colossal sound quality, the slowness seems so monolithic and devastating, and that’s something that profoundly fits to the ominous compositions on The Wayward And The Lost. Several other nice aspects show the members’ (bloodied) teeth throughout each individual track (note: individual, yet as a concept all of them are so organically related), like a cool variation in song structure, a certain own approach (compared to the past), the duelling voices, the funereal approach and the gargantuan sound quality. When talking about the latter, I did mention Billy Anderson in the second paragraph, so that says a lot. But seriously; this kind of sound quality is the most perfect approach when talking about this specific kind of Aural Art. It’s raw, loud and wretched, yet at the same time defining the grim, cold, abyssal atmosphere that goes with this kind of sonic pleasure / self-mutilation.

Compared to the past, the result is much, much more funereal in essence, in sound, in execution, in atmosphere, and hey, I did love the past, but WTF or WTH: this is so arousing. Craving for more negativism right now… Highly recommended if you adore self-mutilation and the quest for death, or similar acts like Loss, Wreck Of The Hesperus, Unmercenaries, Doom:vs, Bell Witch, Mournful Congregation, Dead Hand and the likes…