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Rating:
8.5
Earthship - Withered
12 September 2014


01. Sanguine
02. Serpent Cult
03. The Garden
04. Dead Faint
05. Adrift
06. Throne Of Bones
07. Veil Of Gloom
08. Lament Of Torment
09. Emerald Blades
10. Withered


Former The Ocean drummer Jan Oberg and his neat little band from Berlin, Germany, Earthship, have exploded onto the sludge/stoner landscape with their third release, Withered - a short but substantial 30-minute piece of music that's broken down to 10 archaic and bludgeoning riff clinics. The tunes are catchy, likable, and most of all, heavy.

The rhythmic layered guitars are the highlight and centerpiece for the entire album. The aggressive nature of those notes wreak havoc and flourish with maximum dynamic results. Lush textures, bleeding feedback, and furious chugging riffs are at the heart of this very gritty and hard-hitting music. Deep bass and passionate pounding on the drums are additives used in this abrasive and subterranean structured formula. It seems in this day and age of metal music, especially in this genre, bands cater to the "more is more" philosophy. Not so here; Withered doesn't use 10-minute marathon set pieces to get its point across. This is quite a change for me, as I have always endeared longer and more complex songs. Instead, Earthship wrap a set of copious genre aesthetics into a flurry of songs that are over before you know it. It's music that lodges sludge, stoner, and groove metal capacities into short but meaningful musical expressions.

The production is exquisite, and for Earthship I am sure being a member of the Pelagic Records team helps big-time. The instruments and scream-style vocals are in perfect harmonization. The sparse guitar solos lay perfectly underneath the extent of those glossy guitar tones. The sound is very "clean", much in the way of how Mastodon and A Storm Of Light do things. Take a half-hour of your time and check out this visceral piece of adamant sludge metal. Withered is more than the sum of its parts and worth every second.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Earthship
Album: Withered


 



Written on 01.09.2014 by
tea[m]ster
Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!
More reviews by tea[m]ster ››



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Fallen Ghost - 02.09.2014 at 12:37  
Just heard Serpents Cult and must say it sounds pretty cool! Will check it out when it's released.
Troy Killjoy - 02.09.2014 at 23:30  
I enjoyed listening to their back catalog, even if it is a little too reminiscent of other bands signed to Pelagic Records. They could use their own identity. Maybe the shortened tracks and heightened aggression this time around will help separate them from that. Oberg needs to be comfortable releasing something that exposes his personality better.
Lethrokai - 03.09.2014 at 12:31  
Sounds like a great album!

One little thing about the review though. According to the MS database, Jan Oberg was the former vocalist of The Ocean, not drummer.
Troy Killjoy - 05.09.2014 at 05:54  
Written by Lethrokai on 03.09.2014 at 12:31
One little thing about the review though. According to the MS database, Jan Oberg was the former vocalist of The Ocean, not drummer.

I don't think he ever recorded with them but he helped out on drums at some point around the time they formed: http://theoceancollective.com/pelagial/about-the-ocean/line-up/jan-oberg/.
Lethrokai - 05.09.2014 at 09:45  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.09.2014 at 05:54

Written by Lethrokai on 03.09.2014 at 12:31
One little thing about the review though. According to the MS database, Jan Oberg was the former vocalist of The Ocean, not drummer.

I don't think he ever recorded with them but he helped out on drums at some point around the time they formed: http://theoceancollective.com/pelagial/about-the-ocean/line-up/jan-oberg/.

Ah, I see. Guess I just had a little mix-up then.

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