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Gospel of Madness
Released: 2004, Firebox Records
Withering is the third CD I’ve received from Firebox Records and it’s the first that hasn’t been a doom metal album. The first two by Swallow the Sun and Mars de Grises were absolutely fantastic slabs of crushing doom metal so my expectations were quite high for Withering. It was with some apprehension that I first slipped GOSPEL OF MADNESS into my CD player for the first time. I was naturally expecting more doom metal but once the first Sentenced-like chords came through the speakers I knew Withering was something different.
As it turns out, Withering play melodic death metal with a slight hint of modern day Sentenced present in the guitars. Somewhat shockingly, the band reminds me most of an old Black Mark Records death metal troupe called Scum. Anyone remember them? They put out two great, though largely ignored, album in the 1990’s to some acclaim but not much sales. Sometimes I’d swear that Raimo’s vocals are exactly like Scum’s P.T. Askola. However the band doesn’t claim Scum to be an influence anywhere so maybe it’s just me. Still, the resemblance is uncanny at times, as in the slowed down melodic groove of “On Death’s Colour”.
At any rate, Withering cover all of the expected melodic death bases without any real surprises, but it’s all done so damn well that you can’t help but headbang along without a care. Some of the riffs on this disc are just so catchy! “Northern Breeze” is a great choice for opener as it’s the most like Sentenced and thus the most infectious song on the album. That riff is still stuck in my head. The album bashes along somewhat drunkenly for the duration of its 51 minutes and has you hooked the entire time. Add another excellent band to a quickly crowding genre.
3)On Death’s Colour
8)The Feeble Morning
9)Anguish of Frustration
10)Justification for Unavoidable
11)Not Yet the Last
Raimo Crazyhorse: Bass, Vocals
Mika: Lead Guitar
Ville: Rhythm Guitar
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