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WITHERSCAPE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Witherscape biography
WITHERSCAPE is the common project of well-known composer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Dan SWANÖ (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH, NIGHTINGALE) with multi-instrumentalist Ragnar WIDERBERG. The project was in planning for a long time, resulting between the working relationship of the two and it resulted in the album ''Inheritance'' in 2013, released via Century Media.

The duo have invited a number of musical guests for this debut work, which bears the legavy of SWANÖ's previous works, combined with new ideas on guitars and bass by WIDERGBERG and should appeal to fans of melodic progressive death metal.

Biography by aapatsos

Witherscape official website

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The InheritanceThe Inheritance
Century Media 2013
Audio CD$8.27
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WITHERSCAPE discography


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WITHERSCAPE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 9 ratings
Inheritance
2013

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WITHERSCAPE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Inheritance by WITHERSCAPE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.60 | 9 ratings

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Inheritance
Witherscape Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Inheritance" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish progressive death metal act Witherscape. The album was released through Century Media Records in July 2013. Witherscape is a two man project featuring Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath...etc.) on vocals, drums and keyboards and Ragnar Widerberg on guitars and bass. Dan Swanö has long been one of the most prolific musicians and producers on the Swedish metal scene, but it´s been awfully quiet for some years in terms of him putting out new releases. As always he has participated as a guest vocalist on various projects and has also produced other people´s music, but actual new music written by himself have been sparse. I haven´t heard about Ragnar Widerberg before, but apparently he is a friend of Dan Swanö, who shares the interest in progressive death metal and after throwing ideas back and forth, the two of them decided to form Witherscape.

"The Inheritance" is a concept album concerning the inheritor of an estate in 19th century Sweden. It´s a dark concept theme which suits the atmosphere of the music well. The music is progressive death metal not completely unlike the "Moontower (1999)" album by Dan Swanö´s solo project or his most progressive moments with Edge of Sanity combined with the melodic and progressive elements of the early releases by the Nightingale project. An act like Opeth is also a valid reference. The vocals vary between clean and growling, and there´s great dynamic between heavy parts and more mellow sections. There are clever use of keyboards throughout the album, which occasionally gives the music a 70s progressive rock flair, but "The Inheritance" is still a metal album through and through. I also hear elements from goth (take a listen to the chorus in "Dead for a Day") and traditional heavy metal in the music. The quality of the music is high throughout, so it´s not the type of album where it would be fair to pick out highlights.

The musicianship is not surprisingly stellar. Dan Swanö delivers some powerful and raw growling and his clean singing is also very well performed. His drumming has also gotten better and better with the years and on this album the drums are both adventurous and well played. The contributions of Ragnar Widerberg are also considerable. His guitar playing is varied and his solos are well played and melodic.

"The Inheritance" is packed in a clear, professional and powerful sound production, which brings out the best in the music. It all adds up to quite a great first release by Witherscape. Great dark atmosphere, crushingly heavy riffing as well as melodic ditto, 70s progressive rock and hard rock/metal influences, excellent musicianship, intriguing songwriting and the above mentioned well sounding production are all great contributors to the 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating that I´ll give "The Inheritance".

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 Inheritance by WITHERSCAPE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.60 | 9 ratings

BUY
Inheritance
Witherscape Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

3 stars Witherscape is a new name on the progressive metal scene, but its members are rather seasoned, especially the vocalist/drummer/keyboardist (yes, all three), Dan Swano. He decided to collaborate with the guitarist/bassist Ragnar Widerberg to craft a new prog metal experience, and "The Inheritance" is what came out of that. I have been fairly impressed with the results, as it does seem to have some unique properties.

It's not often that we get a prog metal band with all the heavy trappings that also features some great synth. Illusion Suite did this earlier this year, and I hope this is a trend because a neo- prog style synth sounds great with heavy riffing. It really cuts through the dense atmosphere and you can literally feel your nervous system respond immediately. Again and again, right when the atmosphere gets a little too much, the synth slices in to make the track stand head and shoulders above the ones that don't have it. "Crawling from Validity", "Astrid Falls", and "The Inheritance" all feature some great synth that makes them my favorites on the album. The synth, however, lasts for a very short time, unfortunately.

Other than that, this band and album are pretty standard. The guitar is excellently heavy, while the drums and bass are average really. Swano has a great clean voice that is deep and steady, but he insists on performing death metal vox, too, which I don't like as much. It isn't horrible, but it isn't anything original either. Though, I must admit that you don't often hear this much harsh vox outside of a more extreme prog metal.

The album's theme revolves around a man that receives an inheritance in the form of a strange mansion where all sorts of weird things happen. It's a strange, horror movie-like theme, but it really doesn't affect me that much emotionally. I'm rather oblivious to it. In general, "The Inheritance" is an album that panders to metalheads, but never really does anything extraordinary outside of some short, but great, synth passages. I've heard this all before, even though it is done well. This, therefore, is a good album that will please metal fans, but prog metal fans may be a bit jaded by it.

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