Track By Tracks: Uncle Woe - Phantomescence (2020)


1. Become the Ghost:

This one feels to me like it’s about a few different things. At the core though, it’s ultimately about dealing with loss. This is the song on the album that took the most time for me to refine and finalize, lyrically. More than anything, that’s just as a result of the alternating time signatures in the music. I went over the lyrics quite a few times to refine the syllable flow. By the time it was done, the lyrics had changed shape quite a few times, and I think are the most open to interpretation out of all the songs on the album. 

Musically, this song is the most forward-moving, steady-paced song on the album. It’s a bit more linear and on target throughout. It doesn’t come in gently and build into chaos. It just steps in already in go mode and doesn’t waver until the solo section, after which it gets right back on track and churns on until the end. 

2. On Laden Shores: 

This is may be the most sombre and contemplative track on the album, both lyrically and musically. In contrast to the opener, Become the Ghost, this one really takes its time opening up and unfolding over stages, with each verse hitting a bit harder than the last, until it finally breaks open into a series of fairly heavy passages; out of sombre contemplation into a state of frenzied despair. Lyrically, as the music switches over around the midway point, it moves from more contemplative, subconscious imagery into following a nautical Icarus character on a misadventure that results in drowning and loss of legacy. 

3. Lucid Degrees of Autoscopic Ruin:

Musically, this one holds its slow pace throughout, and is almost into funeral doom territory with its glacial pace. The chord progressions and harmonies between the bass and two guitar tracks are very thick. 

Lyrically, it’s absolutely a stream of consciousness, dream state affair. Characters and scenarios come and go and drift into each other throughout, leaving one with a feeling of warm confusion. The lyrics are very visually compelling, though the stories they paint are pretty abstract. 

4. A Map of Dead Stars:

Musically, I think this song covers the most ground, stylistically. It opens up in a pretty laid back, psychedelic blues atmosphere, which moves into a couple of big wall of sound, slow motion, lumbering riffs. The bridge after the second chorus harkens back to some good ol’ fashioned ‘90s groove metal, which then gives way to a more spaced out, harmonious arpeggiated sequence, layered in dreamy vocal harmonies, and then finally back out into that big slow motion wall of sound riff from earlier on, until it fades out into that initial psychedelic blues passage again. 
Lyrically, it’s the most fictitious song of the bunch. We find ourselves observing life on a planet almost totally tide-locked. Their planet takes generations to complete a full “day’s” rotation, and the inhabitants are a migratory species, forever moving within the eastern, half-lit dawn portion of the planet, as it ever so slowly turns and they have to uproot themselves to stay out of the direct sunlight, or the frozen nightscape.

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