Witherscape – The Inheritance

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Review by Raymond Westland

Century Media

When you’re into extreme metal, the name Dan Swanö should ring a bell or two. As a producer he is linked to numerous death metal classics and with Nightingale, Moontower and Edge Of Sanity he gained a formidable foothold in the progressive rock/metal world as well. Witherscape, his latest project, marks his return as a musician after an absence of several of years.

With ‘The Inheritance’ he revisits both his 80’s metal roots (King Diamond/Judas Priest) and his progressive death metal roots. This resulted into a very intriguing concept record, which evokes the spirit of old Opeth (Orchid/Morningrise) and the delicate touch of later Katatonia (Viva Emptiness/The Great Cold Distance). The most appealing elements of this album is the compact songwriting, the tasteful guitar work (courtesy of Swanö’s partner in crime Ragnar Widerberg) and Dan Swanö’s wide variety of different vocal styles. Songs like ‘Mother Of The Soul’, ‘Astrid Falls’, ‘The Math Of The Myth’ and ‘Dying For The Sun’ are mesmerizing reflections of that.

The Inheritance may not reach the dizzying creative heights of Opeth’s Blackwater Park or Katatonia’s Viva Emptiness, but it does offer a credible alternative for disenchanted Opeth fans who weren’t too happy with Heritage and it certainly has more spunk than the last Katatonia record. Most of all, The Inheritance marks the return of (extreme) metal’s most revered person. Welcome back Mr Swanö, it’s good to have you back!

Witherscape 20138 out of 10

And you can read Raymond’s interview with Dan Swanö here

Track Listing:

  1. Mother Of The Soul
  2. Astrid Falls
  3. Dead For A Day
  4. Dying For The Sun
  5. To The Calling Of Blood And Dreams
  6. The Math Of The Myth
  7. Crawling From Validity
  8. The Wedlock Observation
  9. The Inheritance