Witherscape - The Inheritance
Label: Century Media
Reviewer: Rak Hiasat - 2013-08-14
Highlights: Mother of the Soul, Astrid Falls, Dying for the Sun
Talking about the legendary Dan Swano will takes months at least, since 90's Swano didn’t stop getting deeper and deeper to turn to the best multi-instrumental in history of metal scene, maybe many of you won't say yes at my view, but still no one can say no on Swano's talents, from giving us Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath, Odyssey, Demiurg, Diabolical Masquerade, Godsend, Infestdead, Pan.Thy.Monium, Steel and being part on many album with great bands in different kinds of genres like opeth, katatonia, Novembers Doom, Omnium Gatherum, Swallow the Sun, Therion, with also producing and mixing/mastering for many others like As Light Dies, Asphyx, Dark Funeral, Godgory, Dissection and many more. But for me as Middle Eastern reviewer the biggest featuring for me is featuring himself as guest vocalist in Bilocate's 2012 album "Summoning the Bygones"
"The story takes place in a remote village in northern Sweden in the late 1800's. The central character lives in Stockholm and comes from wealth, and upon the death of his family he's informed by the family lawyer that he has inherited a large estate up north. Having been oblivious to the estate's existence, he decides to investigate, and once he's there "all kinds of weird shit happen" From Dan Swanö on Witherscape's Century Media Page.
Going into the album the progressive death with old school theme is the first idea which came to me after the first spin for the mastery album, "Mother of The Soul" it’s the first track, after few seconds of the song Swano's growls hit my ear and its really feels he can sing while drinking a cup tea for me, the best vocals techniques from my favorite vocalist in this universe, the song transfers between old school pummeling death metal double bass to a choppier thrash segment. There are a few jazzy guitar breaks which do little to serve the song, but the remainder of the writing is solid, what a great work by Ragnar with his frenetic, paranoid dual guitars and psychotic grooves. Here the band sounds their best, a hybrid of riffs with death metal logo.
In fact, this whole record is based around mid-paced riffs that are highly driven by melodies. "Astrid Falls" and "Dead for a Day" both have intros that feature fantastic melodies that are both memorable and atmospheric, while "Dying for the Sun" command the listener's attention with stellar mid-paced riffs that are interwoven with top-notch melodic passages throughout. As with any band that tries to create a sort of aura, Witherscape does a brilliant job of bringing forth a dark and gloomy feeling that is most present on these songs, but there is also a subtle upbeat and almost happy vibe that can be heard throughout, and that's mainly because of the insane amount of melody present, here we can feel the touch of the three guests like Eddie Risdal on vocals at "Astrid Falls" and on track "Dying for the Sun" we can hear Paul Kuhr vocals and Joel Selsfors Moog Synthesizing.
"To the Calling of Blood and Dreams" and" The Math of the Myth", a hybrid mix of death metal and heavy metal played with a progressive metal style and atmosphere, a Lead guitar melody possess a heavy metal feel to them, playfully bitter and sullen flow slowly to the front to set the mood, and then gracefully fades to the background under the hoarse puffing growls like a similar Dan Swano usual style. Then drums pick up on complexity and speed and weave an awesome web of multi rhythms and tempo changes with both punch and subtlety. Like if moving at slightly different pace, thunderous death metal phrases explode in a war like stroke before harmonious guitar solos wrap it all up in spectacular form before returning to the initial melodious woe.
The lyrics, song titles, and artwork all lead me to believe that this is a very bittersweet, melancholy album, the fusion of upbeat sections, clean vocals, and acoustic/folk-influenced guitar sections and heavy, blistering, mid-paced death metal. The album is an excellently trip into real progressive death metal that doesn't try to be pretentious, incorporating pseudo-related instrumentation and themes just for the heck of it. The clean vocal sections are very reminiscent of dan swano's previous great works. The album even has a long epic with a sudden change from death metal to upbeat oldies-sounding music especially, at the eighth track "The Wedlock Observation" when the three guests show up together at the same song, Eddie, Paul and Morten Jorgensen as additional vocalists. The change isn't so startling after you get used to it, though, as everything on this album is wonderfully placed and happens for all the right reasons. I can't find a misplaced note on this entire thing, which helps when the music and aesthetic are as deep as this one. Thumbs way the fucked up hope this band keeps maturing and writing compositionally fantastic hymns, and it's in last three tracks of this album, no more needed here from me to you, just listen and enjoy one of the best album since five or six years ago.