Wither – Necropolis

witherDark and dismal emanations arising once again from Australia, this time in the form of Wither’s debut full-length release. Haunting and disparate, dark/depressive themed black doom is this duo’s specialty and they are quite proficient in making the listener feel uneasy with their bizarre/unstable harmonies and seemingly crypt born sound canvas of dissonant chords and minimalistic drum work. They offset the wall of misery with equally bleak clean guitar passages that effectively offer more of a peaceful dynamic, before switching up again with pulsing/drone riffs that feel hypnotic due to the memorable qualities found in their songwriting. Vocally is where this band has been a point of contention with me. Vocal duties are shared between the members, ranging between harsh growling/mid-ranged black metal abrasion (my preferred style for this particular genre), but in order to capitalize on the varying waves of suicidal emotion arising from Necropolis, they take a stab at mournful pitch singing. Tracks 2 and 4 in particular, the most “post” black metal of the lot, finds Wither sticking with a clean vocal tone that warbles in and out of pitch. This was probably intentional. After repeated listens, I eventually got used to it and found the idea to be interesting and somehow fitting with the music, but I can’t help but wish for a more “accurate” performance. Meaning… find a key and stick with it. This has been my only real disappointment with Necropolis, for track 3 finds Wither getting back on track with misery drenched vocals and the riffs are so pleasantly depressive and tortured, that it’s impossible not to come away from this album feeling a little more unhappy than you did going into it. The bass guitar helps perpetuate this unceasing din, for it’s clean tone cuts through the mix, and the band has taken time with the instrument to ensure that actual and unique bass lines roll through the murk to further infect with sorrow. Wither have a definite unique style that may center on the dark/doom realm of black metal, but they aren’t afraid to borrow from other genres, even throwing in the occasional blast beat to keep this material off centered and interesting. This point alone speaks volumes when it comes to pondering the black metal world and how deeply and unmercifully it has been plundered of all good ideas. Wither have made a poignant statement and I can only envision them getting better as they work out the kinks. -Marty
Aurora Australis Records
Listen to sample and buy from this location: http://www.aurora-australis.com.au/releases/AAR_008.htm

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~ by martyworm on December 4, 2012.

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