|Review: Withering - Festum Melancholia|
Year released: 2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: August 28, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
For the past 3-4 years, a bored look has been my instant reaction whenever I heard of another Melodic Death Metal band. I was agreeably surprised from time to time, but it was usually more about proficiency that a band doing something a little different. Withering do just that. Sargon actually reviewed one of their albums a while back, and his description is pretty close to what is offered on Festum Melancholia. They are described as "Epic Melodic Death Metal", and I'd throw in a "/Folk" somewhere in there. The backbone is Melodic Death Metal with the expected growls, but where Withering shine is how they put the icing on the cake. The melodies are very folk-ish, with that little epic-style aura, and they literally steal the show here, relegating the harsher stuff a little bit to the background - although it is still audible, no worry for those afraid of an über-melodic wankfest. The intro is mostly acoustic and sounds like it could be part of the soundtrack of an epic movie based on medieval times, starting off very quietly and then getting heavier, more solemn, and leads us toward the more metallic numbers that make up the rest of the EP. Hell, I'd put that intro on repeat for a while, it's just that cool. The folk-ish undertones give the EP a little upbeat sound, but this remains pretty heavy and slow as well, resulting in an interesting mix of "happy"-sounding melodies and doomy atmosphere. Frankly, only two things to complain about: (1) it's too short! and (2) there are some clean, high pitched vocals here and there and they don't sound good, almost sticking out like a sore thumb. I think even with better clean vocals, it wouldn't have really had a good effect where they are used either. But there's thankfully little of that. Withering turned out to be a very good and agreeable surprise.
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