Music Reviews

Withered Earth

Into the Deepest Wounds


Having three guitarists in tow, the six-piece Withered Earth aren’t everything I was expecting • namely, insane six-string acrobatics, as opposed to the take-a-number solo-cataloging of modern Maiden • but their Into the Deepest Wounds debut is a loopy ride nonetheless, and definitely all the better for it, if you’re up to the task of hacking it. Much like New York forebears Suffocation, Withered Earth offer up thinking man’s brutality here, the sextet slicing through a slew of deliberately dissonant riffs and a bevy of tripped-out, near-jazzy rhythms, thusly rendering the results either the epitome of “obtuse” or “a musician’s band” (depends on which side of the fence you fall on, really). Sometimes, when the attack is at its most direct and discernible, Into the Deepest Wounds cuts that much deeper, hits that much harder, making all the erstwhile science look that much more freak-lined, even during its occasional chugga-chugga riff passages, the guitar trio subverting such otherwise-tedium into something both pulsing and pounding instead of simplistic and predictable. Far from perfect, but the next one could blow minds on a larger level, like Gorguts’ last two records have • or, more likely, will be hailed as a “classic” years after the fact (see Human Remains’ Using Sickness as a Hero • they were from Jersey, and definitely even more bent). Hey, killer cover and old-school logo!

Olympic Recordings, 1453-A 14th St. #324, Santa Monica, CA 90404;,

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