Withering Soul
No Closure

Here’s a nice little surprise in the form of the second album from Chicago’s symphonic black metal act Withering Soul.

With ties to one of first US acts plying the style competently, the underrated Veneficum, in keyboardist/guitarist Krystopher, Withering Soul’s sound has a distinct European tone that obviously culls from the likes of early Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, and to these ears Arthemesia. However, the band has a little of their own character by way of some death metal growls and some deep baritone clean vocals akin to Novembers Doom’s Paul Kuhr — amid a couple of rending doomy, moody passages, and it makes for a very enjoyable listen.

After the intro “Night of the Revenant”, the first proper track “Phantasmal Chaos Divinity” clues you in to Withering Soul’s competent sound with some polished, dramatic synths, bristling, militant riffs and a sudden but well delivered transition into an unexpectedly rending doom passage. Second track “The Sequitor” and third track “Tides of The Accursed” are far more rooted in direct Dimmu Borgir, especially the opening salvo of and intense closure of “Tides of The Accursed” which could have come from Enthrone Darkness Triumphant as could have most of the riffs and synths “Possession of Deception pt 2”, if it weren’t for the somber vocal bridge that appears.

After a bit of a lull with the albums midpoint track “Sadistic Redress”, which is still an enjoyable symphonic black metal number, “Manifest Transparency” sees a return to a more dramatic turn complete with more well done clean vocals while “Lifeless They Lie” takes a more Cradle of Filth turn with more emphasis death metal vocals, thrashing riffs, as well as some female crooning in the back ground. It’s all stuff I’ve heard before but all in all, it’s still done very well here –especially the last few moments. The following penultimate track “Unquiet” tones things down a bit, going for a more gothic metal, beauty and the beast -mood with male and female vocals being used effectively.

The album closes out with the expected atmospheric outro in “Requiem of Sorrow” so all the requisite elements of symphonic black metal are covered, but I have to admit, for the style these guys are pretty good and personally blow fellow US acts like Sothis and Abigail Williams out of the water. Definitely keep an eye out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 10th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    not bad. symphonic black is not really my thing anymore, but back in like 2003, this would have been my shit.

  2. Commented by: Elvis P. Resley

    The interesting age for symphonic blackmetal is in the past. Far too many bands out there sound the same structurally and musically. Thank God for Enslaved “keepin’ it real” while everyone else sells out. *coughsMORBIDANGEL!coughs*

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