"Gospel of Madness" (Firebox / Warhorse; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


I guess you'd have to categorize Withering as death metal. The growling, "cookie monster" vocals are here, as are song titles like "On Death's Colour" and "Mausoleum." Oh, yeah - and Withering are Finnish.

I'm far from an expert on death metal, and - as regular Rough Edge readers may remember - I'm not much of a fan of the genre, either. Still, there's something that I like about Withering that I like a lot.

The problem with most death metal, in my ears, is the vocals. As I've said on these pages before, I just don't get the whole hollow roar thing. Withering's got that roar but it's not so far over-the-top that it takes the focus away from the music. Speaking of the music, it's heavy and deep and still melodic. What sets it apart from most other death metal bands is the tempo. The songs on "Gospel of Madness" are slower-paced than most other death metal bands. That'll be a turn-off to fans of the faster bands in the genre but it works here to Withering's benefit. The songs on "Gospel of Madness" are chunky, haunting and memorable. That alone makes the CD worth a listen.

I won't say that Withering breaks any new ground with "Gospel of Madness" but I will say this: this CD will get more play in my CD player than most other death or doom metal CDs and that means something.

For more information, check out http://www.withering.org.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:23 -0400.