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Withering Soul – Last Contact

Withering Soul
Last Contact
by Ben Gardiner at 05 October 2021, 9:21 PM

WITHERING SOUL have honed an exciting mix of Black and Death metal across their four full lengths, and on "Last Contact" the darkness shines through. Mixing aggressive passages with melody driven sections, all bathed in raw, reverbed heaviness. The growling vocals and low guitar tones, combined with the very natural, very quick drums, marks this as a centrically Blackened album.  The dense mix of the blasting drums and cosmically dark guitars, layered with synth elements, gives this album the effect of a sonic brick wall, packed with levels of noise that ensure there’s never a dull moment. The instruments stay busy without ever clashing or sounding cluttered, no easy task, and the vocals are mixed perfectly to never overshadow the fine instrumentation.

From the moment “Visitation” erupts like a volcano exploding into a tsunami, very raw toms and powerful China crashes establish the drums as a unique and mighty force. Working in tangent with the deep and dark guitar tones, the sound is as in-your-face as it can be. Track Two adds the intense, guttural vocals, as well as blisteringly fast, thrashy instrumentation. The modulation on the snare adds groove and guitar melodies dance over the bass line.

The synths become more overt in “Carrion Reflection,” adding new layers of atmosphere and intrigue, whilst the aggression stays at the max. more variety to the vocals here too, with each track something new is added. We also see sections of instrumentation being pulled back, both in denseness and pace, creating diversity in the feeling of the music. I am in love with the slower blast over the wailing guitar solo, whilst the synths add an element of angelic choir singing, creating an epic, otherworldly vibe.

Ascent to Madness” adds elements of Doom into the Blackened landscape, feeling crushingly slow following the tempo of the previous tracks. Soon the tempo picks up again and the double bass heavy beat brings forth into a melodic Death zone. The song bounces between the overwhelmingly heavy Doom sections and the quickened double bass, whilst also incorporating hymnal vocals overlayed the hugely contrasting growl of regular vocals. “Into the Harrowing Expanse” leans heavily into the blast beats, making this one of the more Blackened tracks, this combined with the guitar tone and atmosphere generated by synths, is reminiscent of DIMMU BORGIR in its technical production and aggressive sound.

Overall, this is an excellent release, tracks blending nicely together, a high level of production and fantastic tones from all instruments. The vocals are perfect for the sound and every element works together harmoniously to create an intensely heavy and engaging mixing pot of genre, nicely weaving between Black, Doom and Death, without ever coming across as a mish-mash.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Visitation
2. Allegory of the Void
3. Carrion Reflection
4. Of Blackened Pillars
5. Ascent to Madness
6. Into the Harrowing Expanse
7. The Transcendence of Night
8. Uncharted Course
Lineup:
Christopher - Vocals, Guitar & Synth
Rick - Drums
Nenad - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Mortal Music
     


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