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Withered: Memento Mori

Withered have created here on Memento Mori a brutal and unrelenting tsunami of crushing death and doom metal. This is take no prisoners music boys and girls, and not for the faint of heart, but if you like early 90's death metal from the likes of Entombed and Unleashed, or dig the powerful and relentless sounds of newer acts like Mastodon or High on Fire, Withered might just be for you. These guys have a somewhat sludgy guitar sound that is fairly technical at times, yet also borders on doom, especially on songs like "Beyond Wrath" and "Fear and Pain That Cripples Me". Vocally, as you would expect, there's plenty of death growling and modern metal screams here. The switching back and forth between some of the speedier death metal pieces and the slow dirges adds some variety to the CD, but no matter what way you look at it, this is primal, fearsome stuff, that will surely cause some excitement in the extreme metal world. Be aware that the CD is just a little over 30 minutes long, so hopefully on the bands next release they will have a little more material to give to the fans that they are certain to obtain with Memento Mori.

Track Listing
1) It's All Said
2) Within Your Grief
3) Like Locusts
4) Silent Grave
5) Beyond Wrath
6) Fear and Pain That Cripples Me
7) Among Sorrow

Added: September 9th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 3258
Language: english

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Withered: Memento Mori
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-09 14:30:19
My Score:

Memento Mori is the debut release of American extreme metal band Withered, in many ways evocative of the first generation nihilistic death metal acts like Unleashed, Entombed, and Dismember. With numerous sludgy elements comprised of slow, agonizing riffage that also recall modern bands Mastodon, the album takes you on a short musical journey back in time when the earlier Swedish metal bands were at their creative peak, playing relentless death metal heavier than a ten-ton hammer.

Arguably the best release Lifeforce Records have put out in 2005, Memento Mori mostly stands out with its dark atmosphere, delving into black metal territory, especially on the short cuts "Silent Grave" and "Fear and Pain That Cripples Me". Tremelo-picked guitar riffs abound the tracks with a similarity to the black/death extremity of Dissection, the normally grinding vocals of Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson turn into maniacal screaming over an impressive technical lead solo. The dark atmosphere is also evident on the almost 9-minute album finale "Among Sorrow", loaded with pulverizing sludge riffs, spoken vocals, and an almost doomy style. The dark vibe of the song will please many Immolation fans.

With all that said, the centrepiece of Memento Mori is the other 8-minute number "Like Locusts". The song embodies everything Withered is about, from a sludgy build-up in the intro that breaks into a passage filled with massive guitar lines, shifts of complex rhythms marked by fiery drumming, brutal vocals that border on grindcore, and a very distorted bass bottom. Fans of Mastodon and Isis are going to drool over "Beyond Wrath" for its long drawn-out instrumental section, rock-solid riffs, and Chris Freeman's tortured vocals. The riff at the end of this song is simply out of this world. Next to Mastodon, Withered are a band that have excelled in playing awesome guitar riffs that characterize the essence of their brutality. Given the proper promotion and a tour in support of a huge band, Withered could enjoy considerable success in the metal community.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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