Withering - _Gospel of Madness_
(Warhorse / Firebox, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
Sometimes one establishes a mental connection between two rather different bands, not because they sound similar or share the same kind of imagery, but rather because there is something about their attitude that they have in common. Case in point, Withering and the legendary Carcass. Truth be told, Withering play in a very different league from Carcass -- a doomy sort of death metal, and not on a similar level of virtuosity. But different as their style may be, I am still reminded of _Heartwork_ when listening to _Gospel of Madness_: there is the same underlying -metal- feel to it, a stripping down of superfluous elements that gives way to a definite focus on each riff and each hook. Everything is very pronounced, rather than hurriedly played amidst a flurry of blastbeats or a thick layer of keyboards. The production is strong but simple, and there is a feeling of conviction that imbues every riff and every lead. This wouldn't amount to much if said music was mediocre, but Withering are actually capable of keeping a very decent level throughout and even achieving a few particularly remarkable passages. There is a little bit of early Amorphis in these Finns, but the delivery is quite different and ultimately Withering seem more concerned with playing the music they believe in than trying to stand out at any cost or market their work as the ultimate in whatever way possible. This is simply a very solid, enjoyable semi-doomy death metal album, with meaty riffs and catchy leads, competent gruff vocals and drumming -- the sort of release that may not get into many album of the year charts, but will likely provide more actual enjoyment to reviewers and listeners in general than some of those that will.

Contact: http://www.firebox.fi

(article published 18/5/2004)

1/1/1998 P Azevedo Genocide / Withering Portuguese Potential Part III
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