Witherfall - Sounds of the Forgotten

Genre: Dark Melodic Metal -

I'll be the first to admit - and have previously admitted - that I do not attend my writing as often as I should. My mind keeps playing tricks on me, and the clutches I'm in seem more restraining the longer I stay away. But I knew since before it was announced that with a fourth Witherfall album I could not remain... still. I've followed and supported the guys since they released Nocturnes and Requiems back in 2017 and through hardship, through turmoil, they have only grown stronger. Witherfall have changed members a few times, though founders Joseph Michael and Jake Dreyer remain today. And they are the core, in terms of songwriting and style, something which definitely carries over to Sounds of the Forgotten, their fourth full length. Angry, ferocious even, and yet tender. A many faceted reaction to fear and sorrow, Sounds of the Forgotten proves very much worth every minute of the long wait leading up to release day.

Before release date, I had only heard the first single - Insidious - a handful of times. In part because build-up and anticipation makes the first impression stronger, and in part because Witherfall do not simply release a batch of new songs. They craft something unique and I feel that to experience it as a whole is part of their art. Sounds of the Forgotten opens up on the ravenous beast that is They Will Let You Down, a show stopper to be sure with some ferocious riffage care of Dreyer and menacing snarls from Michael. The album unravels from there, a versatile affair built from emotions and a diverse range of influences that make their mark. You’ll hear influences of Deep Purple to Metallica to King Diamond, all taken in new directions. Tossing in euro power metal vibes in the snake oil selling ear worm that is Ceremony of Fire; a seven minute banger that displays all the versatility, from the eerie - almost too smooth like you can't trust a word they're saying - chorus to the spine chilling solo section, and Minnemann's incredible drumming setting the stage for witches hour, in a clearing in the field before the dawn.

Epic closer What Have You Done? hearkens 70's and 80's vibes deluxe (complete with a video shot in 4:3 and tinges of brown), and deals with the actions of Jon Schaffer, who produced their third album and then thought to himself "what can I do to fuck everything up as badly as possible". The overarching theme of betrayal and grief in the face of irreparable breach of trust is given heartfelt life by marvelous performances and stellar songwriting; the final melodic section closes the album off on a feeling of wanting more. The entire thing is an ode to classic prog rock/metal in Witherfall's signature, dark style. Then there’s the eerie affair that is the title track, brooding, melodic keys from new recruit Gerry Hirshfeld setting the stage. Michael delivering with a haunting presence, spine chilling and poignant to the spirit of the times; What are we in this for?/The core has turned and rotten/As the years just spin on by, to the sounds of the forgotten.

I may personally be partial to the melancholy sound of A Prelude to Sorrow (2018), but the sound on here is nothing short of fantastic. The crystal clear production brings to life the thick bass lines, eerie keyboards and every single moment of Dreyer’s eclectic guitar playing - of which there’d be too much to talk to fit in this already too long review. Sounds of the Forgotten is a stellar album, and it was worth every moment of waiting, to take it all in as intended.On a closing note, I whole heartedly believe that one part of When it all Falls Away (you know the one) would have been lost to me had I not waited and given Sounds of the Forgotten the reverence it so deserves. Throughout, Witherfall have gone on to continue and develop upon their existing mythos and done so with reverence for their own history. Sounds of the Forgotten will welcome both old listeners and new alike; and it does so with the dramatic flair we’ve come to expect. Witherfall were always theatric; no reason to do things small when you can put up a midnight reverie of a spectacle.


Standout tracks: They Will Let You Down, Sounds of the Forgotten, When it All Falls Away, What Have You Done?



Musikvideo: Witherfall - Sounds of the Forgotten
Visa fler inlägg