Imagine Rush, King’s X, some death metal growls, some singing, and riff-oriented songs that start here, then end up all over the place. That’s what Witherscape, the newest project from multi-instrumentalist Dan Swanö and guitarist Ragner Widerberg is. It’s a mish-mosh of many styles. There really is no one way to classify this album, which may drive all the labellers out there crazy. I think it’s really cool.
I’ll admit at first listen, it was sensory overload, sure. But on the second go-round I started to hear things that really stood out to me, like the hard rock appeal of “Dead For A Day” with Swanö growling over quite a catchy guitar line, or the drastic tempo changes a la Rush on first single “Astrid Falls”. “Dying For the Sun” is one that could easily fit on any King’s X album, complete with the same harmonies. It works really well, and it’s one of the best cuts on the record.
Another standout is “To the Calling of Blood and Dream” featuring riffs aplenty and some furious grooves that’ll have everyone listening more than once. It also boasts some serious soloing by Wilderberg. The synth-heavy intro coupled with its fast pace make “The Math of the Myth” another strong track and at the 1:42 mark we hear robotic voices for a bit before the keys rise to the top once again, and some more crazy time changes. Believe me when I tell you that you’ve never heard anything like this in your life.
“Crawling From Validity” is a slow starter, but about halfway through, the intensity ramps up, much like album opener “Mother of the Soul”. Like I said earlier once these songs start, you have NO IDEA where they’re headed, and if you try to guess, you’ll be wrong ten times out of ten. And that’s what makes The Inheritance such a unique album.
“The Wedlock Observation” really starts to slow things down, with a mix of clean vocals and death growls, and fools you one last time before dialing up the heavy riffage for the latter half. This gives way to the title-track album closer “The Inheritance”, a soft piano instrumental during which you may have such thoughts as, “What was that I just listened to?”, and “I need to hear this again”. The Inheritance is truly one of the most musically diverse metal releases I think I’ve ever heard, and is sure to turn many heads in 2013.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “To the Calling of Blood and Dream”, “The Math of the Myth”, “Dead For A Day”, “Dying For the Sun”, “Astrid Falls”