WEEPING SORES – False Confession
- by ER
- Posted on 19-10-2019
This incredible trio of New Yorkers is a fairly recent construct, with the eponymous EP (Dullest Records, 2017) the only record released since the 2016 conception before this here the debut album. According to frontman Doug Moore (guitars, bass, vocals), "False Confession" concept originally did not contain any violins because he was concerned it would make it sound cheesy, so he was fully content on just working with drummer Stephen Schwegler as a duo. But upon hearing the immensely talented and skilled female violinist Gina Hendrika Eygenhuysen (either from her work for the Oregon’s sludge band, Hell, or from a personal audition) he was so impressed conceptually he turned the instrument into a throbbing main artery of Weeping Sores with everything else built upon it, not unlike it is done in My Dying Bride or Ne Obliviscaris but almost certainly to the extent never attempted before by anyone.
Gina’s violin, mind you, is not merely just another instrument here, the way Betty’s tamburino was in the Archie’s Band. In a way usually reserved for the section, Gina (currently Tchornobog basist which may partially explain her ability to drive the show) feeds the melody, the mood changes, controls the pace and even directs the way the guitars should go. Her influence is simply unprecedented in metal, in regards to the instrument she handles, but if I must find a precedent, she gives Weeping Sores a profound neoclassical edge previously comparable to my knowledge only to Ne Obliviscaris’ "The Portal Of I". I don’t know the woman, never heard of her or never even seen her photograph but her very soul spills through every note she plays. The woman IS Weeping Sores and I think Doug Moore knew the implications of working with such an instrumental genius concerning his band which is why I hope she is a permanent member.
It is really as if Lady Eygenhuysen’s soul was split into 7 horcruxes (to use a JK Rowling’s "Harry Potter" reference), the 7th horcrux being Doug Moore and 1-6 the tracks on "False Confession". Accordingly, for the 1st horcrux, "Scars Whispering Secret Tongues", the violin is not pleasant as its usually the case, but rather so unnerving it is as if she was missing notes or playing sharply like an amateur, but nothing could be further from the truth since she gradually calms down from a panther to the Puss In Boots, and, already the following 2nd horcrux, "Song Of Embers", shows her delicate side, the notes played as if in a lullaby, while on my absolutely favorite cut, the beastly "Transfiguration Of Flesh Into Dreams" her 3rd horcrux is so wild, untamed and erratic, while at the same time, so composed, so, naturally, after such apogeum of negative energy, "The Leech Called Shame" shows her 4th horcrux, a little more delicate side, while on "Valediction Prayer" the 5th horcrux is pleading and the 6th horcrux crying on the closer, "Sink Beneath The Waves". After all, it should be clear to "Harry Potter" reader that Voldemort was taking advantage of what was true of every human being, that ANYONE could split their soul into 7 separate parts if they knew how to do it, which Gina proves on "False Confession". She is not a type of Voldemort here, far from it, but rather a type of the conceptual weeping sore.
What we see through Gina’s soul is the reflection of the general concept. Although the debut album is not eponymous, the band’s name is depicted as a dichotomy expressed in Caroline Harrison’s cover painting: a rotting wound of the flesh, with sick and psychedelic colors which attract and repel at the same time. This seemingly contradictory concept is excellently represented in music – cascades of Peacevile (Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost) doomy stylings with intricate (as in: not simple) melodiscism on one hand and pure crashing death metal of Morbid Angel, Immolation or Malevolent Creation ore with Evoken/Mournful Congregation atmospherics (there is no positive indication any keyboards were used so chances are this pure guitarwork), on the other hand, plus many riffs seem to come from ardent students of the Ulcerate-ian school of melodic dissonance. This album is deep and I mean The Marianas Trench of the Pacific Ocean deep. True to its cover representation, it is as beautiful and positively inviting as it is cold, brutal and repulsive, but, unlike some of the genre fellows, when melodic and harmonious truly beautiful, yet when deathly dark and foreboding truly extreme, savage and even unnervingly horrifying.
Half of the six cuts represent a near perfect balance of positive and negative energy on this album. The strongest cases in point are the fabulously melodic "The Leech Called Shame" – where Machine Head-ian guitar squeals clash against early Novembers Doom while Gina’s violins (here she is again!) are juxtaposed against Doug’s guitar for irreducibly complex melody not unlike on My Dying Bride’s "For Lies I Sire" – and the most melodic and complex track, the closer "Sink Beneath The Waves" where the Immolation-ary riff serves as a basis for the Misery Signals on violins sort of melody which gets repeated in three different, most strategically ingeniously placed points of the composition – and, finally, the "No More Will" Nevermore-inspired funeral doom of "Valediction Prayer" which recalls also Mournful Congregation, Evoken and Opeth.
Then there moments where the balance is not so even attempted, why, the melody seems to be of secondary consideration due to the sheer madness and viciousness to be conveyed through joint strength of the guitar and the violin, in a phrase, "Transfiguration Of Flesh Into Dreams". As I previously mentioned this track is beastly precisely because of Gina’s hyperfocus on Doug’s ferociously brutal riffs, or is it the other way around? In any case, the result is an absolutely devastating masterpiece in neoclassical death metal art.
The single flaw of the album is in the first two tracks, "Scars Whispering Secret Tongues" and "Song Of Embers". Although they are excellent towers of fantastic musisianship and cohesion, Weeping Sores sounds like they are merely rehearsing before the real deal, the melody scarce, mostly dissonant and careful while the death metal almost formulaicly minimalistic. Perhaps the idea is a gradual immersion before the storm? In any case, this is a complaint concerning 2 out of 6 tracks on a debut album from a band who already towers above many of their contemporaries and even the esteemed Peaceville Trinity has much to dread.
"False Confession" shows Weeping Sores already revolutionizing death/doom from within to rival the days of old with fresh, innovative solutions to instrumentation and composition. Lovers of My Dying Bride, Novembers Doom and Peaceville Trinity both pay heed and beware.