Withered‘s Verloren, which is now set for release in June by Season of Mist Underground Activists, is one of the albums we named earlier in the year as among our most anticipated 2021 releases. It follows 2016’s Grief Relic (reviewed here), which we hailed as one of the best albums of that year. And that frighteningly superb album in turn followed three previous full-lengths collectively reviewed here in a report that attempted to sum up their sound as “blending the raving savagery of Black Metal, with the wrenching heaviness of Death Metal, and the slime-drenched grooves of Sludge, each one bathed in a scalding miasma of acid-rain atmospherics and bleak, bitter misanthropy.”
In a nutshell, we are big fans.
But the eager anticipation we have felt for Verloren isn’t simply a function of how phenomenal Withered‘s track record has been over a career that’s now entering a third decade. It’s also a matter of intrigue, because Withered have most definitely followed the beat of their own contrarian drummer, and the beat changes, in thought-provoking and sometimes confounding ways, while the constantly genre-bending music nevertheless continues to hit home with tremendous visceral and emotional power.