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Wythersake - Antiquity

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 March 2021, 6:46 AM

WYTHERSAKE is a symphonic blackened death metal band from Washington DC. They formed in 2016 and "Antiquity" is their full length debut. This album balances the blackened death and symphonic elements pretty well, with neither element over powering the other. Comparisons to other extreme symphonic acts like DIMMU BORGIR and SEPTICFLESH are unavoidable. However they are much more guitar focused than DIMMU and not as brutal as SEPTICFLESH.

They definitely have a more Gothic sound to them, and I would compare them to CRADLE OF FILTH more than anyone. I don’t think they sound similar but that theatrical flair is definitely present in their songs.  Also like that band, the songs do tend to sound similar and can run together.  Still, this is a solid album with a lot of good aspects. But despite the theatrics and symphonic elements, the core of their still is guitar driven extreme metal. The guitar solos are a stand out as well, which is refreshing because solos usually take the back burner on this style. The keys/symphonics aren’t always the instrument used to create the atmosphere or melody of the songs either—they share that in equal measure with the guitars.

The production is decent but a little quiet on the bottom end and the vocal mix tends to bury the rhythm guitar when there is a lot going on. "Prediluvian," is a fine start to the album as it isn’t just another boring intro with ambient noises that contains no real connection to the rest of the album Instead, this two minute track is a like a mini preview of what's to come and blends in perfectly with the next song. Other bands take note: THIS is how an intro should be done.

The title track flows out naturally from here with fast paced death metal and blackened style drums. The vocals are well done with a lot of variety. Within the first two minutes the vocals supply the song with blackened growls, deep cleans and spoken word. Early on there a few solos and they all rip up—if you love guitar this song is for you. At times the keys are simple with minimal clean tones but they add volumes to the song as a whole.

"From A Serpent Spoken," has rapid fire drums that keep the intensity going but the song is very focused on keys and vocals whole the guitar provides a heavy back drop. This a good example of how the album doesn't always need to use every element to its advantage.  They pick their battles, as it were, and play to those strengths.  With that being said the guitar still shines with a delicious melodic solo that caps the song off.

"Feast Upon The Seraph Within," is one part straight up death metal, another part melodic but all wrapped around their symbolic audio theater. This is one of the best songs on the album because it nails down the overall sound the band is going for on this album. The keys work with the guitars in this song well—when the song opens up for more intense moments, the keys are wide open for epic backdrops.  But when things are more meticulous so are the keys.

The last track "Profane Goddess" is a badass closer because of the sense of urgency and finality that runs through it. The melodic passages intertwine with the heavier moments and it makes the song rather emotional in spots. The symphonies are absolutely beautiful and highlight everything great about the song. This album has a lot going for it as does the band. For a debut, it is pretty strong. I don’t see (or hear) any reason why the band wont get even better from here.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Prediluvian
2. Antiquity
3. The Advent
4. From A Serpent Spoken
5. Iniquity
6. Through Ritual We Manifest
7. Lamentations
8. Feast Upon The Seraph Within
9. Unto Light
10. My Profane Goddess
James – Guitars
Daniel – Drums
Gabriel – Guitars, Vocals
Cody Bowen - Bass
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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