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WITHEM - The Unforgiving Road (Review)
Progressive Melodic Metal
Withem are a new progressive/melodic metal band NOT from Sweden! Yes indeed. They are not from Sweden. They are from Norway!
Once again the Scandinavians prove to be on the cutting edge of new music in all forms of rock n roll.
This is the band’s second album and first for Frontiers. They describe their sound as a mix of inspirations from such greats as Symphony X, Pagan’s Mind, Dream Theater and Circus Maximus. Pretty accurate too.
To me they haven’t quite got the chops of Dream Theater, nor the melodic finesse of Circus Maximus, but they are well on their way. And this is an impressive album.
I’d put their sound closer to Dream Theater thanks to the vocals of Ole Wagenius. His powerful LaBrie style range drives these songs and adds the melody to the powerful guitars and swirling keyboards.
This is an impressive sounding album. Guitarist Oyvind Larsen acts as producer and mixer and has done a remarkable job. This is a really clear and crisp sounding record while retaining all the necessary power.
Highlights include the powerful hook driven In The Hands Of God (the chorus is pure Circus Maximus); the initially faster, but then inter-changing pace of The Pain I Collected; the beautiful vocals and melodic guitar parts that drive Riven; the Rob Moratti-esque progressive AOR of The Eye In The Sky.
It took several listens to appreciate fully and have the melodies become more obvious, but the high caliber production and some inspired performances make this an album that is likely to launch the band onto a bigger platform and wider audience.