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Withering Soul - Apparitions Of The Surreal (7/10) - USA - 2004

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Xohol Records
Playing time: 34:14
Band homepage: Withering Soul

Tracklist:

  1. Twisted In Irony
  2. Synthetic Existence
  3. Leave Again
  4. A Midnight Eclipse
  5. Fallen Release
  6. The Frozen Oblivion
  7. Possession Of Deception
Withering Soul - Apparitions Of The Surreal

Chicago has new underground Dark Metal band that uses Norwegian Black Metal as the blueprint and then ventures off into uncharted territories. Formed by the brothers of Mykil and Krystofer, these guys look toward the abyss for inspiration. They mix the best of Black, Dark and ambient and the result is nothing short of haunting. "Twisted In Irony" is rather mellow and somewhat melodic with touches of primitive Black Metal. Mykil's voice is harsh and clean ala ICS Vortex, but not a carbon copy. There are plenty of haunting chants in here as well. The guitar stylings of Krystofer is hypnotic as he spirals away into another dimension. The drums are pretty much laid back, but heavy. It has all the makings of coming out of Norway.

 

"Synthetic Existence" starts off as about as raw as a VENOM CD, but then manage to work their way into sounding a lot better, but what holds this track back is the recording. It sounds a little low and the drums could have taken a seat just one row back so the guitars and keys could get a shot at being heard crystal clear. The complexity of the drumming could be heard quite well and the guitars get a bit more vicious. The keyboard work provides the atmosphere here while Mykil's screams his little black heart away. A little interlude that is known as "A Midnight Eclipse" is needed as it's just a haunting keyboard solo that is slow, but not only breaks up the viciousness of the sound, but adds to their vibe as well. "Fallen Release" really goes for the throat as they leave the majestic keyboard work behind and just kick your ass from pillar to post.

 

This demo overall shows a lot of promise and people in the underground cold embrace this with ease. While they have gotten better overall since their last demo, they need to work on the production a little bit. I know they did this at home with the computer, but just some tweaking could make this release better. Hopefully, they will hit the nail on the head next CD. While you could pick out your favourite Norwegian band as these guys influences, they add a little something that is much needed and even original. Instead of all the labels fighting for a band that sounds like someone else should consider looking at these guys seriously because they could show the jokers out there in the scene a thing or two. Embrace the dark side and score a copy of the CD. (Online December 3, 2004)

Joe Florez



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