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Witherscape - Inheritance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.71 | 23 ratings

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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".

UMUR | 4/5 |


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