WITHERIA – Devastating Return
The fourth album "Devastating Return" from Finnish thrash act Witheria sees a couple of membership shuffles of instrumental responsibilities. Former bassist Mikko Lappalainen takes over the second guitar slot, as the band recruit new bassist Max Pekkonen – but do not fear the style and substance remain steadfast in heads down, crunchy thrash with all the tempo shifts, gang vocals, and racing leads anyone can muster.
The raw, ferocious larynx of the appropriately named Tuberculosis along with the right understanding of when to go full bore in terms of tempo/ riff combinations and when they need to be more melodic or musically oriented pays dividends throughout. Be it a longer cut such as the 6 minute plus "Passenger of Thought" which can be slightly progressive and jagged in terms of guitar twists and drumming maneuvers or the heads down, old school Testament wall of sound pushed out on "Thrown Down the Well", these musicians keep their eyes on a variation theme song to song.
"Devastating Return" may not possess the crispest of productions, but when it comes to Witheria I’d rather have a lean, mean, and true to form tones throughout than anything massively Pro-Tool enhanced or computerized. As far as their overall sound, Witheria straddle the line between Euro-thrash and Bay Area tendencies, offering plenty of arrangements that will cause limb removal and cranial impact to the highest degree. Favorites vary depending on the time of day or mood- currently the Destruction-like "Burnt to Ashes" and 9:38 epic closer "Back on Earth" that features a prolonged, wah-wah pedal enhanced instrumental section tickle the right aural nerves.
If you’ve grown weary of the new generation of US thrash and want something a little more varied and musically sharper, Witheria serves up a delicious 8 song record here.