"Phantomescence" (Rise Above Records; 2013)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Uncle Woe's "Phantomescence" is maybe the most down-tuned, gut-wrenching album I've ever heard. It's slow, its ponderous and grey. It sucks the life out of you. It's atmospheric in the sense that listening to it feels like you're sitting at home alone, on a dull, drab rainy day, and you're so depressed you don't even give a shit whether there's anything else you could be doing instead.

Perhaps the band's self-description says it best: "Uncle Woe is a phantom limb, shown here wielding some bludgeoning tool against mostly true tales of bittersweet sorrow, revenge, and regret."

It didn't work for me but maybe it'll work for you. I do have to admit a grudging admiration for the band's ability to create such an immersive world. I just don't want to be immersed in it.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/unclewoe/.

Rating Guide:

  A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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