Withered Land are a black metal band from Belarus, and this is their debut album.
Withered Land play atmospheric black metal with influences from the folk and dungeon synth styles. Across 38 minutes The Endless Journey delivers epic atmospheric music that’s quite absorbing. Fans of acts such as Falkenbach, Summoning, and Windir should take note.
The songs are melodic, synth-heavy, and keyboard-rich. The songwriting is appealing for the style; the band concentrate on overall feeling and atmosphere, crafting songs that immerse the listener in epic textured soundscapes that I find quite compelling.
Most of the music has a rhythmic quality to it that’s hypnotic and draws you through the tracks as they crusade through their running times. There is not much in the way of speed or blast beats, (although these do appear), but this isn’t the sort of music that needs to rely on these elements. The emphasis here is on epic grandeur and the creation of a colourful blackened tapestry filled with lush grandiose ambience.
The vocals consist of blackened screams, deeper roars, and various other vocalisations. The singer has a wider range than many other vocalists in this style, and his voice works well with the rest of the music. While I normally find that I prefer an ultra-high, near-static delivery for this sort of thing, it’s good to hear something different from what I usually enjoy the most, especially when it works as effectively as it does here.
The Endless Journey is a very engaging and enjoyable work. If you’re a fan of Summoning-esque atmospheric journeys, yet you don’t want a carbon copy of that superlative band, then Withered Land are definitely for you.
Very highly recommended.