Band line up:
Joseph Michael – Vocals/keyboards
Jake Dreyer – Acoustic and electric guitars
Anthony Crawford – Bass
Marco Minnemann – Drums
Alex Nasla – Live keyboards
1. Deliver Us Into The Arms Of Eternal Silence (00:50)
2. The Last Scar (04:56)
3. As I Lie Awake (05:33)
4. Another Face (05:34)
5. Tempest (08:17)
6. Curse Of Autumn (01:26)
7. The Unyielding Grip Of Each Passing Day (02:44)
8. The Other Side Of Fear (04:38)
9. The River (03:11)
10. … And They All Blew Away (15:24)
11. Long Time (Acoustic Version) (03:35)
“Curse of Autumn” starts with a real “incipit in medias res”: “Deliver Us Into the Arms of Eternal Silence” is a folkish instrumental intro that, halfway through, explodes into powerful drums and sombre keyboards.
Next is “The Last Scar”, a solid tune where the neoclassical guitar work and Joseph Micheals’ vocals marry perfectly, giving birth to a song that lovers of old school heavy will adore. A special mention goes to the solid chorus, that makes the song literally bloom, allowing it to reach the next level.
“As I Lie Awake” starts with a grungier atmosphere, where the drums are absolute protagonist, while the vocals seem to gain more depth and personality. Overall it is a good song, although the chorus can’t beat “The Last Scar”’s one.
Song after song, Witherfall seem to explore and perform aiming for the next level, which sometimes leaves the listener a bit lost: endless solos and continuous vocal variations show technique, musical knowledge and ambition, but it feels that the soul is somehow missing, at least until track number 9. “The River” brings the band back into the game, revealing a vulnerable side that hit me from the first notes: the song is so real that you can feel it as your own heartbeat. Sometimes less is more, and this is the perfect example. “The River” is the highlight of the album, perfect in its honesty.
I have to be honest, I am not a fan of the 10th track, “And They All Blew Away”: I’ve found myself chasing the song, trying to understand what was going on and 15 minutes of this is a bit too much. There’s nothing bad to say about the technique, but I feel that the delivery could have been more effective. “Curse of Autumn” ends with the acoustic version of “Long Time’, where I find again what I have loved in “The River”: raw vocals, acoustic guitars and a lot of soul, free from the weight of technical virtuosity.
Overall “Curse of Autumn” is a good album, especially if you like Nevermore and classic heavy metal: however to me, it feels like sometimes the band is trying to do too much at the same time, ending up with a wall of sound with too many souls. On a brighter note throughout the whole album, I have loved Marco Minneman’s drums: powerful, on point, and able to enrich the depth of the band’s sound. In any case what I have liked about the album is done really well: I wish Witherfall all the best and I am looking forward to their next album.