(Andy Synn turns his attention to the upcoming new album from some long-time favourites of ours, Withered, with a warning to – as always – expect the unexpected)
As some of you may know, I have a long and storied history with Blackened Death Sludge deviants Withered.
The band were the focus of the 65th edition of The Synn Report, and their fourth album, Grief Relic, was – in my opinion – one of the best albums of 2016. They were also one of the first groups to participate in my ongoing Waxing Lyrical column (which I’ll be restarting very soon), as well as one of the last bands I saw live before the whole world shut down and all shows were cancelled.
It’s always frustrated me, however, that the group’s tremendous talent has never translated into the level of attention and acclaim which they so clearly deserve… although, if I’m being honest, this may be because the band themselves seem to take an almost perverse delight in not doing what people expect and always, always, taking the grimmer, grimier path less travelled instead.
But while Verloren most definitely continues this tradition – it’s a complex, contorted, cantankerous beast of an album, make no mistake – it also has the unusual distinction of being potentially, not to mention paradoxically, the band’s most accessible and most alienating work yet.