WITHERSHIN "Ashen Banners" CD
Withershin are gathered under black rather than ashen banners, performing competent if not groundbreaking music which is no less than what we have come to expect from the Swedes. Some may note a Marduk influence behind their frenzied blasting, and with Magnus Andersson (bassist for Marduk) at the helm and recorded in his Endarker studio, it would be surprising if there was no point of comparison with the legends. But this is no "Nightwing" styled norsecore quickie, Withershin are more nuanced than that, insofar as this style allows for subtleties. The combination of mid-range growls (barring the usual standard and horrible attempt at clean vox on “Disdain”), tremolo riffing and dynamic drumming is an efficient if staple combination. However, they are more effective at mid-tempo, which sounds more ominous and menacing than the blasting passages, which might make for a good live performance but don’t convey the same dark emotions. Just listen to “Reincarnation” for proof. Withershin may not be the new saviours of Swedish black metal, but they help ensure its continued existence.