Review: Witherfall “Curse of Autumn” [Century Media Records]

Review: Witherfall “Curse of Autumn” [Century Media Records]

- in Reviews

This March dark progressive/heavy metal band Witherfall from California, USA has released their new creation “Curse of Autumn”, staying true to the almighty Century Media Records. And three years after their last full-length album have given them enough time to polish their stylistic and compositional skills to a brand new level.

Witherfall have always regarded their music very seriously, everything is always on its place and out of totally unexpected system, sometimes it is very pertinent and proper, but sometimes this ideal righteousness is ad nauseam classical, lacking emotional honesty and competitive experimentation. Witherfall‘s music is on the verge of this phenomenon, but still the emotional background and thirst for equitable perfection isn’t too boring end in itself. So it’s almost impossible to find fault in this album, except the lack of dramatic turns and unexpected moves. Though there are some noticeable changes in their freshest release, the darker mood and bolder display of feelings. But considering the fact of all these ultra powerful producers (renown for works with such bands as Iced Earth or Sanctuary) on this record, no wonder, that everything here is so smooth and sophisticated.

Structurally the songs are based on classical power/heavy metal pattern, but regardless, the diversity between the songs is remarkable, pointing out the dark, progressive and neo-classical elements on an ongoing basis or occasionally. The neo-classical and symphonic power spirit lives on the tracks like “The Last Scar” or “…and They All Blew Away”. Some positive and naïve aura of the songs still dwells on certain compositions (“The River”), but the main path is laid in a graver and more obscure way, showing the tremendous level of maturity. The dynamism of “Curse of Autumn” isn’t disturbed even due to frequent acoustic passages or ballads (“Another Face” or “The River”), the vibrant spirit of this album turns away all the meekness or slumbering slowness.

The atmospheric details allude on some serious musings and philosophical state of mind, adding the progressive deepness and adorning the traditional heavy metal foundation (like instrumental “The Unyielding Grip of Each Passing Day” or long and epic “…and They All Blew Away”). The romantic features of “Tempest” diversify the album with some folk motives and the influence of flamenco, but oriental elements on “The Other Side of Fear” or “Another Face” amplify the album’s open-mindedness. The technical guitar solos, catchy riffs, dark chords and strong bass influence, as well as emotional variability of vocal abilities of Joseph Michael (from falsetto to growling) empowers “Curse of Autumn” with harmonious integrity. So, no matter how dark, heavy, melodic or progressive the song sounds, it perfectly fits in overall conception of this record.

Of course, the rich experience of the musicians of Witherfall (from Ephel Duath to Iced Earth) gives them more possibilities to explore the musical world together in this band, but still, all these superbands too often fail to show something ingenious or original. Maybe Witherfall have overdone with their urge for idealism, but the rawness and volatility aren’t their strong point, so with “Curse of Autumn” these American musicians have achieved the perfect harmony of their inner feelings in a form of musical art.

Release date: March 5, 2021

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