WITHERSCAPE - The Northern Sanctuary
Label: Century Media Records
Reviewer: Mohammad Lahham - 2016-08-08
Highlights: Wake of Infinity, In the eyes of the Idols, Rapture Bullet, Marionette
Dan Swano was and still one of the most interesting people in the progressive death metal scene, with solid releases and bands throughout the years.
This one here "Witherscape" is no different, it is actually a stand out band, with a very special and solid album.
The Northern Sanctuary brings progressive death to a whole new different level with his theatrical, medieval themes combined with massive melodies and an even more massive vocal performance.
The album starts great With "Walk Of Infinity" with a creepy piano intro and then Guitar Backing Up the intro with keys and an atmosphere that Instantly gets you prepared of what to come.
The riffs are solid, strong and the drums follow up nicely on the track, making it one of the best tracks of the album, and this is only the first song.
Of course we get to hear Dan's trademark clean vocals in the track, which brings joy to all Dan Swano's fans .
The second track "In The Eyes Of Idols" brings that old school feeling of progressive Death Metal in it, and Dan Swano being Highly interesting on vocals, both growls and clean.
"Rapture Ballet" starts with an amazing melodies and riffs that wants the listener to stand up and shout, it makes a great live track and anthem for the fans.
"The Examiner" starts smoothly with piano and acoustic while Dan sings clean and smoothly into the song, tuning it a little down, before the electric guitar goes in smoothly as well, and creates a fantastic feel to an even more fantastic song.
"Marionette" is my personal favourite and the stand out song on the album, it is the kind of ballad the fans expect for such a fantastic musician, although it contains the heavy elements of death metal, yet it is delivered beautifully and cannot pass without noticing it and loving it.
Moving to the longest song on the album, the title track "The Northern Sanctuary" being almost 14 minutes long, it is an interesting song where it takes the listener to a journey inside the mind of Dan Swano, where all the genius comes from.
It contains some of the most beautiful piano pieces and acoustic on the album, yet contains as well some of the heaviest and most fantastic riffage a metal head could band his head to.
The album closer is a short piano instrumental that ends the album in the most classy, beautiful way, a progressive death metal album could ever End.
This album is a fantastic Journey, amazing trip of emotional roller coaster, and it’s a must have.
Written by: Mohhammed Lahham
Edited by: Muhammad Jaber
JoScene for Music & Events Management