Witherfall
Nocturnes and Requiems


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
March 11th, 2017 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Progressive metal with neoclassical inclinations and a haunting atmosphere. In other words, fans of King Diamond miss this one at your own risk.

Progressive metal can be so rewarding when it’s performed by musicians who have gotten over themselves. Granted, a significant percentage of those who indulge in overly complex music probably haven’t gotten over themselves fully. But there is a fine line where technicality meets the foundation of music – songwriting – and then something special is born.

It might be too soon to characterize Nocturnes and Requiems as special but Witherfall seem to have found that thin red line which separates real music from unadulterated wankery. With influences ranging from King Diamond to Dream Theater and Symphony X, the Los Angeles outfit’s debut is coherent and at the same time has a cinematic quality. These characteristics make it a fairly easy listen, despite the fact that it includes all the elements of a typical progressive metal album. One can find odd time signatures and long tracks but at the same time there is an emphasis on melody and catchiness. Album standout “End of Time” for example, includes some memorable vocal lines, acoustic guitar passages and feels like it lasts significantly less than it actually does.

The guitar playing will bring to your mind legends like Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker while the tone resembles that of John Petrucci. Moreover, the soloing and some of the leads add a neoclassical flavor which offers even more variety. The vocals are quite theatrical and range from cleans that might bring to your mind Zak Stevens, to gruff singing and falsettos. In addition, the drumming accents everything and even though this is a self-produced LP, the level of production is quite high with the exception of the bass which could and should have been more audible.

Going back to the atmosphere of the album, the bookends are fairly representative of the whole; the opener is dark and evokes a feeling of anxiety whereas the closer is calm and gives a sense of closure. There are many epic and grandiose moments backed by a variety of riffs and a few serene passages within songs and in the form of interludes and what feels like transitional track (“The Great Awakening”).

Overall, where the album succeeds is on songwriting. Progressive metal bands many times tend to be too technical for their own benefit. However on Nocturnes and Requiems, Witherfall retain all the positive qualities of the genre and enrich them with memorable melodies, an emotional background and all these on 47 minutes of running time.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great stuff if you're in the mood for some progressive metal.



"End of Time": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkvoaf3Z2Y0

Full stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM1VAXrF4Rk&t=1s

Maco097
March 11th 2017


2403 Comments


I'll be the judge.

deslad
March 11th 2017


596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Congratulations on getting promoted to staff manos! Really great review once more, it sounds really interesting and will definitely give it a spin.

Digging: Neil Young - Harvest

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks des! Hope you check and enjoy the album.

Totengott
March 11th 2017


4122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sweet review as always and congratulations on the promotion!



I have to check this out.

Digging: Amenra - Live I

Toondude10
March 11th 2017


11300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sounds like my cup of tea, will check

Digging: Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

kingdedethefifth
March 12th 2017


3782 Comments


Solid review man! Definitely sounds good, might listen tomorrow even.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words!



I can definitely see all of you digging parts of the album. Maybe start by checking the linked track.

Sabrutin
March 12th 2017


4402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Congrats for your promotion! Tempting review, I'll give it a shot even though I'm not the biggest fan of modern prog metal

Digging: Paradise Lost - Medusa

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2017


1692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a fan of this style of metal but this album is nuts. Mind pos.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thank you Sab and Crypto!



Not a big fan of modern prog either but this is short, sweet and if you enjoy the recommended albums you'll probably enjoy this one too.

Sabrutin
March 12th 2017


4402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I may be digging it. Didn't realize it was a supergroup, but it makes sense because they sound pretty confident of themselves. The music seemed to flow quite well on first listen. It seems the singer is related to Dio

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah you can call them a supergroup. I avoided that because of the groups these guys come from haha and I also avoided writing about the tragic fact that their drummer died on December 2016 because it seems like every other review on the web does.



Glad you enjoyed the album, Sab.

Flugmorph
March 12th 2017


17021 Comments


witherscape >

Digging: Perturbator - New Model

Toondude10
March 12th 2017


11300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like this is something Willie would eat up

Hawks
March 12th 2017


49983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gonna jam this hard.

Digging: Cynic - The Portal Tapes

kingdedethefifth
March 13th 2017


3782 Comments


Does it jam hard hawks

Hawks
March 13th 2017


49983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Eh not really, it's decent.

Sabrutin
March 13th 2017


4402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think I like it quite a bit, strong songwriting and the flashiness has actual sense. Need to rejam

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


10452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Glad you liked it, Sab. I really dig the fact that it's short, sweet and focused on songwriting.



Hawks, wished you enjoyed it more my man.



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