(TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut album by Witherscape, the highly anticipated joint effort of Dan Swanö and Ragnar Widerberg, which hits the streets today via Century Media.)
Without a doubt, the Swedish have an innate ear for metal of the melodic sort. The Gothenburg scene, the forming of formidable death metal titans such as Bloodbath, Hypocrisy, and Grave, who retained a distinctly more melodic bent than many of their contemporaries, the proggy labyrinth-crafters like Opeth and In Mourning — all are testament upon testament to what can truly be called Swedish excellence. When you tell people in a metal context that the music is Swedish, people tend to know exactly what you mean. It’s melodic, yet retains a darkness and ferocity in a combination that’s distinctive.
If there were ever a single figure who sits on the throne of the Swedish pantheon, as the prime example of what I’m trying to describe, Dan Swanö is the man. His musical endeavors, whether it be the groundbreaking Edge Of Sanity, his work in Bloodbath and Nightingale, his Moontower solo album, his influence has been staggeringly overpowering. He has consistently produced music that is stellar, always at the top of its respective field.
Swanö has been on a hiatus for a while now, the last anyone heard from him being his collection of cover songs as Odyssey. Now he has returned with a new album, with a new project named Witherscape, the album called The Inheritance. It’s a concept album and one that will divide the Swanö fan base, to be sure, because this is a risky, unorthodox album for a figure best-known for his brutal yet melodic offerings.