When a band goes six years without releasing a new album, it tends to present problems for the musicians and fans alike. The longer a group goes without putting out something new, the expectations of the fans grow. They are also forced to latch onto and dig deeper into past releases simply because there is nothing new to engage. The longer the musicians wait, the more they tend to overthink things. Will it be as good as our last album? Is it different without alienating our fans? Have we Chinese Democracy‘d ourselves? Well, in the case of Withered‘s latest sonic hell-blast of a record, Grief Relic, it has been worth the wait. This record will tear the hair and skin right off your head and leave you listening to it with nothing but your bone-bare skull.
The bar was higher, too, given that 50 percent of the band is brand new. That’s right, there’s a new bass player and new guitarist/vocalist, which equals half the band. But Withered have delivered one Brillo steel-wool pad of a record with Grief Relic. From the scorching opening riffs and screams of “Leathery Rind” until the closing notes of “To Glimpse Godliness,” the listener is assaulted and carried along on this tsunami of black death.
Grief Relic boasts a great cover. Old fans will be pleased and new fans will discover another group they can crank in their bedrooms that is sure to give their parents complete conniptions.
Grief Relic is out now on Season of Mist. Buy it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):