It's been, well it's been a minute since we've seen a new Withered Record, and by a minute I mean six years. Somehow it was all worth it though, since Withered is back not only with a far superior rejuvenated lineup, but a record that is taking the world by storm. Grief Relic is monumental. Eight tracks of blackened death metal that tear at the soul and vastly expand upon all that the band has done in the last twelve years. Withered were always a great band, Dualitas changed the scene forever. Grief Relic though hints at something far greater.
I think what gets me about Grief Relic is simply how huge Withered sound. It's the sound, not just of mountains moving, but entire empires crumbling into rubble. As the band stomps forward you see your world breaking around you and you are forced to deal with the realization that there is no ultimate salvation. The monolithic tones of Grief Relic are frankly revolutionary.They invoke doom metal timbres without ever really slowing down. Sure there is a bit of a doomy trudge now and again, but by and large, Grief Relic uses a sort of aphonic threnody to wind its way into your heart and force you to question your reality.
It's rare that I find a record that is as truly epic as Grief Relic. Most albums can't stand up to the monumental statements that they seek to make. Most albums don't represent the same level of tooth wrenching indignity or mind melting despair. Withered have used Grief Relic to prove that not only are they their own masters, but also that they are among the best in the game now, and forevermore. Grief Relic is one of the best albums of th year because it so radically expands on what metal can and should be and forces you to bend the knee in honor of a band doomed to take on the world.
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