Thursday, February 24, 2011

Withering Soul-No Closure

Mortal Music 2011

No Closure, the new album from Chicago's Withering Soul (following 2004's Apparitions of the Surreal ) is a wicked blend of symphonic black metal and Scandinavian melodic death. Recorded and mixed by Chris Wisco (Novembers Doom, Michael Angelo Batio, Soil, Lazurus A.D.) at Belle City Sound (Racine, WI), and mastered at The Cutting Room (Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir) in Sweden the album displays a maturity you normally wouldn't expect from a band who have so far only released a handful of demos and the one album mentioned above. It probably helps that the band has been kicking around the local Chicago scene since their formation in 2000. The album feature backing vocals by the incredible Melissa Ferlaak (Aesma Daeva, Adyta, Echoterra, Voidwork) and has some goth overtones as well. "Phantasmal Chaos Divinity" was an early favorite right off the bat. With it's chunky death metal riffs it really got the album off on a good note. I would have loved to have heard all of "The Sequitor" but my promo copy kept cutting off what sounded like a promising track. Regardless "Tides of the Accursed" was up next and featured some great black death with insane drumming from Marek. "Possession of Deception - Part II" again showed off Marek's prowess all the while assaulting the senses with more death metal riffs. I am in awe of the way the group can easily shift from their brutal black metal to it's symphonic side at a split second notice. They do it as easy as flipping on a light switch. "Sadistic Redress" is another favorite of mine. It openly flirts with goth before destroying everything in sight with some seriously abusive death thrash. The fact that vocalist Mykil can deliver black death growls while at the same time you can understand him is cool. I agree with what Mark wrote in an earlier review that it is nice to be able to make out some words when listening to extreme music rather than everything sounding like the cookie monster gargling razor blades. On "Unquiet" your treated to the lovely Melissa singing over top some of the technical guitar wizardry of Krystofer. Bass player William does a good job throughout the album as well. He is offered a small solo in "Requiem of Sorrow" and makes the most of it. All in all No Closure is a stunning achievement in the field of USBM (United States Black Metal) and is sure to create a well deserved buzz for the band when it is released in March.


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