Withered Earth - _Forgotten Sunrise_
(Cryptic Soul, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
I really hadn't a clue what _Forgotten Sunrise_ was going to bring forth. When a creepy intro, reminiscent of those found on early Hypocrisy albums, came to occupy the first minute and a half of the album, I did still wonder what would follow it. A good intro, as this was, can often expose a mediocre band. Withered Earth are, however, in no danger here. They have musical ability, creativity and the skill to intelligently combine the two. The core of their sound is undoubtedly what I call death metal. The sound of each element reminds me favorably but distinctly of Incantation. However, they are not even close to an Incantation clone. The band incorporate quite a lot of doom and liken themselves only towards the slower, sludgier sections of Incantation at the most. The band kick off with an almost groove-styled riff and return to the theme of catchy guitar a number of times in the album. Yet what they never do is let the groove take them away from the evil, dark feel of their core sound. They further enhance the experience of _Forgotten Sunrise_ by the interweaving of acoustics, playing the distorted and undistorted off against each other, sometimes with augmentation by keyboards, to astounding effect. The slight similarities of each song's main focus, on heavy distorted riffing, doesn't let this down much and Withered Earth generally make more of an effort to be varied, and are more successful, than the majority of bands. This is most impressive for a debut full length.

Contact: Withered Earth, 5 Beekwood Dr. Rochester, NY 14606, USA

(article published 16/1/1999)

10/12/1999 P Schwarz 8.5 Withered Earth - Something So Pure
9/1/1998 A Wasylyk Withered Earth / Necronomicon / Deeds of Flesh / Dying Fetus / London Death Fest Milwaukee, Eat Your Heart Out
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