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HARDWARES

WITHERSCAPE

The Inheritance

(Century Media)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE, BLOODBATH) is a name synonymous with death metal excellence. With his newest incarnation, the legendary Swedish vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/producer has teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Widerberg for a brilliant new conceptual project, WITHERSCAPE. The Inheritance is a vast concept album which takes place in a remote village in northern Sweden in the late 1800’s. The vocals, drums and keyboards were handled by Swanö while Widerberg handled the bass and guitar, including the solos.

Witherscape’s cornucopia of metal soundscapes are loaded with blistering riffs, piercing solos, lush clean vocals and guttural growls, and on one surprising occasion, handclaps (‘The Math of the Myth’). Opethian flourishes pop up quite often (Swanö produced their first two albums), these are especially noticeable when clean vocals meet harshly-growled vocals and various acoustic passages mixed with heavier parts, most notably on tracks ‘Mother Of The Soul’ and ‘Astrid Falls.’ On the latter, ’70s prog influences pop up, complete with Mellotron.

The songs flow seamlessly while the vivid lyrics capture and keep the listener’s attention. There’s tons of variation and transitional riffs within each track, which display a great mix of melody and aggression. Widerberg pulls off some great guitar solos with a wide range of technique and shred-ability. There’s also copious amounts of melodic breakdowns which creates a great flow and pace with loads of musical peaks and valleys. The Inheritance is a great release that should please any progressive death metal fan, especially those who already know what Swanö is capable of.




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