Released: 2003, Low Frequency Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
“Somehow my Death Metal past showed its ugly head when I was making the songs for WITHER…” Tomi Mykkanen, the main song writer and guitarist of Evemaster (also bass on WITHER) explains. He continues: “I think there is a very clear difference between the older songs and the new songs. I´m sure not many people can see it as clearly as I do, but as the music maker I know there was a big difference in composing the songs and arranging the guitars. There´s now constant rhythm guitar background whereas in the older songs there are many places where there are only melodic guitars. This thing alone makes the new songs much heavier and darker….”
All of that was said in the band´s official info kit about WITHER. At my loss, I have to say I have never heard the band´s previous album LACRIMAE MUNDI, so it’s kind of hard for me to make any comparisons between the band´s two albums for an obvious reason. So I´ll just have to stick to this new effort from Evemaster and try to drag out both the album´s good and bad sides - even though I may be not that good at finding those ´bad sides´ if something sounds very appealing and highly entertaining to me. It actually happened to me with WITHER. I want to point out that each song alone stands out very effortlessly out of this amazingly catchy, well thought out album. The band´s uncrowned songwriter Tomi has captured some truly extraordinary atmospheres for WITHER. The music could be described as ´melodic Dark Metal´ with some bits from Power Metal circulated around this delicious soup that tastes better and better when served over time again and again.
As for the songs on WITHER, take for example the opener titled “Disgraceful”, the whole album´s catchiest tune in my opinion. I´m sure many of you won’t be able to get the absolutely brilliantly genius chorus part out of your heads. It´s obviously meant to stick in your brain indelibly. I said a word ´brilliant...´. As a matter of speaking, that particular word fits perfectly into my description about the 3rd song (“Stars – Serenity – Burning” that is) on WITHER, too, and when you get to hear the song, you are about to realize the truest meaning for the word ´brilliant´. No doubt, everything these guys touch, turns to brilliance... and the funny thing is that I´m not even lying to you.
Bring in the fourth song on WITHER entitled “Plea”. The first two minutes of the song have a familiar Children of Bodom-ish approach; included even with some well-arranged Anssi Kippo´s (that producer wizard of C.o.B., Impaled Nazarene, etc.!) keyboard parts that are rather similar to, for example, Amorphis´ essential sound nowadays. The whole song just flows very nicely and effortlessly. All in all, “Plea” is one of my favorite cuts off WITHER without a doubt. It simply rocks...
Then we have a song called “As I Turn Away” that reminded me very much of other Dark Metal warriors Thy Serpent due to a very melancholic and beautiful atmosphere that is somewhat similar to Thy Serpent´s basic sound if the following comparison needs to be made. Also, the next song on WITHER, “Harvest Skies” has its almost obligatory Thy Serpent-ish influences, but I have to confess that I cannot complain a bit. The song itself is true “aces stuff´.
As a surprising stroke, but definitely as an extra plus for Evemaster, they have covered the evergreen classic “hit” song “Wings of Darkness” from the legendary Finnish Heavy Metal heroes Tarot for the album where quite surprisingly, the band´s frontman Marco Hietala provided his amazing voice for the chorus part of the song. Feels kind of like re-living the year 1986 all over again due to his amazing vocals in this particular song. The only unfortunate thing is that Evemaster don’t come even close to the absolute brilliance of Tarot´s immortal classic; well, maybe that wasn´t their intention in the first place—maybe their intention was only to find a cover song they have always wanted to cover for their album. Covering some Tarot stuff wasn´t a bad choice for these fellows at all.
For the fans of melodic and well-played Dark Metal, WITHER will be considered a semi-immortal classic album of its own genre in due time, I believe... and keep in mind who told it to you first, dear folks.