Withershin – The Hungering Void Review

originally written by Jim Brandon

The Hungering Void was my introduction to Stockholm, Sweden’s Withershin, and so after going back and investigating 2008’s Ashen Banners, this three-song EP seems a little less noteworthy than the full-length debut. That’s not to say this is fifteen pointlessly wasted minutes of our lives, because it will definitely satisfy those who await the band’s next long-player.

A bit less raw but denser in presentation than the debut, “Wherein I Exalt” is a sword drawn slowly and calmly, just before a full-on assault comes forth, charging into a familiar Merrimack/Keep Of Kalessin flurry which makes cutaways to more grandiose and ascendant sections in fairly convincing and well-executed form, pulling ropes of melody through Nine’s scraped screams and a hyperactive outburst of drums. The last couple of minutes of the opener are just whispers and windy effects that really have no place on a release such as this, but the following title track greatly ups the ante with shades of malicious Ayat coming through with callously spat vocals and white-knuckled riffs in abundance. “Crossing The Threshold” is the least aggressive of the three tracks, but there is a palpable confidence within the unrushed and steadfast midpaced legato that makes for an interesting contrast against the previous two barrages.

Perhaps it’s because I liked Ashen Banners so much that The Hungering Void has made less of an impact, but this slightly above-average EP isn’t too unappetizing even when dealing with the dead air “Wherein I Exalt” mistakenly closes with. Once the dust settles, I can see these three tunes being more successful in the context of a full-length, but my desire to hear more is a good thing rather than being brought about by any overall dissatisfaction. So if you enjoy compact, but familiar black metal with a knack for putting a bit of melodic death into the mix, then this EP should tide you over until a more involved and extensive Withershin release arrives, and I will wait along with you.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.