Released: March 22nd, 2019 / Century Media Records
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine
Back in November 2018, Witherfall released their second studio album, A PRELUDE TO SORROW. The group led by the creative duo comprised of vocalist Joseph Michael (SANCTUARY) and Jake Dreyer (ICED EARTH) has just recently issued an EP that accompanies said album.
Witherfall commented: “During the sessions for “A Prelude to Sorrow” two cover songs were recorded that showed a different side of Witherfall, originally intended to be bonus tracks. A dark and somber version of Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ with vocals recorded with Michael Wagener (Metallica, Skid Row) and an epic version of the Helloween classic ‘A Tale That Wasn’t Right’. With the announcement of the “Sonata Arctica Acoustic Adventures tour”, it was decided to release these covers along with a few acoustic renditions of favorite Witherfall tracks.
I have not much of a chance since picking up my own copy of A PRELUDE TO SORROW back in December to fully let its majesty sink in. I had only listened to it once and was hooked but with the demands of being a reviewer, some albums like it or not have to be put aside for future enjoyment. That time is now.
Witherfall, if you have not had the chance to listen to yet are a dark melodic metal band from Southern California. Having formed in 2013, VINTAGE is the third studio effort by the band. They play a heavy, progressive style of power metal that tends to be engulfed by a bit more somber and a darker and emotional type of metal. I’d say think Insomnium or Swallow The Sun without veering too much into the realm of melodic death metal.
The transition from original to acoustic here is a hard one to hit on the head with a one word description. Excellent, outstanding, fantastic, superb, ect. The list goes on. The mesmerizing cover of ‘A Tale That Wasn’t Right’ blew me away. A song that one would think could only be done by the masters themselves has just been knocked down a notch. The only track on here that takes a little of getting used to is actually the Tom Petty cover. At first listen I was unsure about it. Other than the lyrics being all too familiar, musically and vocally the track is nothing like the original. It does grow on you though.
Overall, an EP of acoustics and a couple of covers from a band two albums in seems a bit unusual, but here it makes perfect sense. It states the sense that states the obvious here about Witherfall, that this is a great band that is destined for a great future.
1. Vintage Medley (Vintage, Pt. I)
2. Vintage Medley (Nobody Sleeps Here)
3. Vintage Medley (Vintage, Pt. II)
4. A Tale That Wasn’t Right (Helloween cover)
5. Ode to Despair (Acoustic)
6. The Long Walk Home (December)
7. I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)
8. Vintage (album version)
Alex Nasla – Keyboards, Piano, Vocals (backing) (track 1)
Gergo Borlai – Drums (additional), Percussion (additional)
James “Timbali” Cornwell – Percussion (additional)
Anthony Crawford – Bass
Jake Dreyer – Guitars
Joseph Michael – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars (additional), Percussion (additional)