Before I get in to the review, I just have to say that I am over the fucking moon excited to see Withered on Friday. I'd be stoked enough if was just them and some locals but they're playing with Skeletonwitch AND Landmine Marathon! I will barely be able to walk/talk/breathe by the time that show is over.
Anyway, I'll be reviewing the show so check back sometime next week to see how much self-destruction I caused.
Now, it's been a while since I've heard Memento Mori or Folie Circulaire but I get a different feeling from Dualitas. It could just be my horrible memory, but it seems more spacious than previous releases. While the oppressive parts are just as oppressive, they are interspersed with more, shall we say, reflective passages. After I actually shell out money to buy a physical copy of this (vinyl?) on Friday I may be able to confirm my theory that the theme of this album is duality. Not in a split-personality sense or "good and evil exist in all of us" way, but more of a two sides to every story idea. For example, some parts are loud and fast and powerful and make me think of war and destruction and all the adrenaline and hot blood that goes with that. That will then fall into a slower, more pensive sounding passage which brings to mind the other side of war. The loss and the sadness. But as I think about it more, the mournful side could be the reflection of the "victors" (no one wins in war). The part where the triumphant survey the destruction they have wrought and think, "What have we done?" "What have we become?" Every time I've listened to Dualitas I can't help but think about the two emotions that rise in my heart, triumph and sorrow. The driving black metal aspect conjuring images of militaristic conquest and victory and the slower, doomier aspect revealing the bloody aftermath and an overwhelming sense of loss. "Interlude" is one of the saddest sounding pieces of music I have ever heard while other parts of the record would flay the skin from your bones and laugh with terrible glee.
Withered have really outdone themselves in creating such an enjoyable yet emotionally draining album. Powerful, cerebral music with a soul.