Withered
Folie Circulaire


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
August 28th, 2008 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Folie Circulaire wraps a collage of influences around their focused and inspired sophomore effort.

2008 so far in metal (at least to me) has showcased a number of bands that have carved out their own niches over the years, displaying what got them to where they are today and doing so with musical competency. A number of surprises have also popped up out of nowhere that have enticed me to jump up and down at my computer station with comments like “Wow, this is some amazing stuff”. A problem I’ve encountered a few too many times this year is that a large number of newer metal bands showcase too many ideas too quick and leads me to think, “What will they do next?”. It’s like listening to DragonForce for the first time; the speed of their albums is mind boggling until you realize that they are using the same formula throughout each song/ album. Even though DragonForce might have a unique sound, they can become quite a chore to listen to for the duration of one album, let alone four. This is how I feel about a majority of the releases from 2008 that I’ve listened to. One band that has really stuck out for me, in terms of uniqueness and leaving room for future expansion, is Withered. With their sophomore album Folie Circulaire, Withered leaves room to expand their sound on (hopefully) many more albums to come.

Folie Circulaire is French for ‘circular insanity’ which is usually associated with a patients condition when they have bipolar disorder. The album itself easily fits into this definition, drawing on a sound that moves in and out of multiple dynamic shifts through a number of different influences. You could almost say that Folie Circulaire is having an identity crisis. The album contains a number of comparisons ranging from the bitter anger and harsh melodies taken from the early second wave black metal bands, its sludgy crawls and cushy atmosphere reminiscent of Neurosis and the post metal genre, and the surgical precision from early 90s death metal records. All of these sub-genres are seamlessly fused together without any forcefulness and further adding to the uniqueness that Withered have become.

From the opener of ‘To Embrace’, the listener is left with a sense of emotional desperation with the song’s slow trudge forward into what could be the best example of the melding of all the previously mentioned styles, ‘The Fated Breath’. The song blows the doors wide open with its intro that is as much death metal as it is black metal. About halfway through the song, a monster plodding riff that could have been taken from Neurosis’ Given to the Rising, hits you square in the face and doesn’t stop the intensity of the song one bit, leading back into one monster death/ black metal riff after another. Saying that this is typically how the formula of every song runs would be doing this album an injustice as other songs like ‘Dichotomy of Exile’, ‘Purification of Ignorance’, and ‘Reveal the Essence of Suffering’ use the formula with a different approach, adding texture and little nuances throughout each song making it a bit of challenge to really understand what Withered are driving at upon first listen. One fault that needs to be noted is the mediocre vocal delivery by the bands guitarists/ vocalists Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson who use the dual style of low growls and high screech approach. Unfortunately, the vocals sound as if they were rushed and really don’t stand out too much. Thankfully this doesn’t draw the listener away from the wonderfully thought-out musical excursions.

Withered have come up with an album that should not be ignored in a year that has seen so many bands put out some amazing albums upon first listen, only to lose their zing with consecutive spins. There is certainly enough stickiness on Folie Circulaire that will certainly challenge the listener and make him/her listen a lot more carefully to what these guys have created. The best part about Withered is that they are not a band that reaches out and grabs you upon the first listen, but rather demands your entire attention throughout. Withered concocts a wicked dose of metal that is entirely its own style while paying homage to influential bands that have played a vital role in creating what metal is all about today. Withered have left the palette open for their liking on future releases and will most certainly exceed anything that they have showcased on Folie Circulaire.



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
August 28th 2008


6837 Comments


how convenient, I'm listening to this right now

good review!

Wizard
August 28th 2008


19502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably the most solid 4 I've ever given an album. Once again constructive criticism is always welcome.

Thanks Balls for the rec' on this and thanks Jack for the proofread.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

foreverendeared
August 28th 2008


14678 Comments


great review. i might check this out but probably will forget about

SHOOTME
August 28th 2008


2393 Comments


I've only read the intro, and this review is all ready pretty pos worthy.

good job wizzy.

fireaboveicebelow
August 28th 2008


6837 Comments


then bookmark a rapidshare link fool

Poet
August 28th 2008


5935 Comments


lol This got 5 comments in 30 seconds.

IAmInsect
August 28th 2008


3800 Comments


lol

foreverendeared
August 28th 2008


14678 Comments


then bookmark a rapidshare link fool

i already have like 15 bookmarked i need to check out haha

BallsToTheWall
August 28th 2008


44606 Comments


What an asshole neg, but nice review wiz, incredible album.This Message Edited On 08.28.08This Message Edited On 08.28.08

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Essence
August 28th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Who negged this? I WILL MURDER THEM AND THEIR LOVED ONES. And possibly their kitten. But that's as FAR AS I'LL GO.

Willie
Moderator
August 28th 2008


16049 Comments


Good review. Do you know who negged it and why? As for the actual album it didn't really seem like something I'd enjoy, but I'll still check it out.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

poopty
August 28th 2008


319 Comments


great review, wicked album

Essence
August 28th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No prob Wiz, review looks great. Thanks for the hook-up, too.

Wizard
August 28th 2008


19502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First neg ever....wooooo *pops some champagne*........but seriously, what is your reason if you read this comment?

As for the actual album it didn't really seem like something I'd enjoy, but I'll still check it out.

You might find something good on here, depends how much you like death/black metal.

One of the best for 2008 might I add.


BallsToTheWall
August 28th 2008


44606 Comments


123, theres always some asshole lurking through the corridors of sputnik who sole purpose is to hit-and-run. I've become a victim several times which for the mean time, formed a backup metalreview.com account.

willfellmarsy
August 28th 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

excellent review/just deleted mine because you said what i was gunna say...i think the vocals get a lot stronger in the last two songs, and i would have liked that to be the entire album...
Purification of Ignorance is probably one of my favorite songs of the year...pos to make up for the reasonless neg

Wizard
August 28th 2008


19502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seriously, post your review Will. Thank you for the kind words Will and to everybody who was gracious enough to vote or give me a word of confidence. Without your rec's, I would still be thinking that Korn is the greatest band ever. Seriously.

'The Fated Breath' just had me from the get-go.

Essence
August 28th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

THIS RIVEWE SUX U PHAIL AT WRITTIG GO SUCK A POLE *neg*


The last sentence is messed up a bit. Not sure how I missed that before. The word 'their' is awkwardly placed.This Message Edited On 08.28.08

willfellmarsy
August 28th 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

na man, you said everything i would pretty much spot on, except you include background stuff and i rarely do that, also you write a damn fine review/find a lot of stuff i usually like so u r like a magician of sorts (minus the opeth love but hey we all have our negatives)

AngelPhoenix
August 28th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is is just me, or have there been a string of neg and runs lately?



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