Released: 2014, self-released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The 2 person dark metal project Withania released their newest debut full-length album titled “Blutenstaub und Weidenharz”, which translates as “Pollen and resin wicker”. Some may perhaps incorrectly interpret this title and take it as a folk metal, which would be a mistake, but the title does have relevance to the music's content. The German metallers create an authentic atmosphere of a frozen winter forest with a bad-ass curse hanging above it, something every dark/doom metal fan will appreciate.
Blutenstaub und Weidenharz is a combination of dark metal and melodic black metal. Both genres are very much present, yet every song tends to be either more doom or black-metal like. The black metal side of Blutenstaub und Weidenharz sounds like Dimmu Borgir with less keyboards and more orthodox black metal influence. In many parts however, the black metal transitions into slow melancholic doom parts. You can expect horror sounding guitar riff layered with pretty fast blast beating drums. The black metal growling vocals fit the dark atmosphere perfectly, sounding like a witch chanting a curse on someone (and it's not because the lyrics are all in German). When the doom sections emerge however, the vocals switch from growling to clean, which I personally don't like in black metal music generally, but they actually fit the ambience. The track “Mit der Fut” shows these transitions, from black metal to slow doom parts, quite well, and you should definitely give it a listen. Another interesting track is the last song, bearing the album's title name and it's a purely orchestral track with epic fantasy music. Maybe a little unorthodox outro, but while listening to it, it made me feel as if it was closing the album's story, if there was one, and I think it's left up to the listener to decide whether the ending is good or bad.
Blutenstaub und Weidenharz is a good dark/black metal album, and considering the fact, that its an independent release, the production quality is really good. With that said, I couldn't help the recurring feeling, that I've heard this before. Maybe the horror sounding black metal riffs are just becoming more and more cliché or maybe it was just my subjective feeling. Still, the music is really good and black metal fans as well as fans of dark/doom metal should check it out.