Deathwhite - Ethereal
Self released
Depressive Atmospheric Rock
6 songs (24' 46")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

Deathwhite's first EP, Ethereal, gives the listener six tracks of slow, depressive rock with a slightly doomy sound to it. Imagine the guitar-driven, folk-ish melodies of Agalloch, but with the vocals of Katatonia or Anathema, and without any black metal influences. The result is interesting, especially the guitar, though the vocals occasionally carry dissonant tones to them that prevents the atmosphere from being as complete as one would like.

After the title track, composed of picked acoustic guitar work, the more metal parts come into play. One also gets a better idea of the production; When I (Wasn't) You is crisp and clean, and the crunchy guitar distortion mixes nicely with the sharp pounding of the drums. The clean, emotional vocals aren't precisely whiny, but do have somewhat of an angst-ridden vulnerability to them that borders on the edge of annoying, and it doesn't help that the most interesting guitar parts only happen when the vocals have stopped. The guitar hops neatly between pick-work and low, thrumming rhythm chords that give a smooth power to the songs, even slower ones like Give Up the Ghost, where the vocals are sung with a better melody but with the same amount of almost-whine to them. Silenced is steadier-paced and even crunchier than the rest of the songs, but Feeding the Illusion provides a welcome speed increase, and though I kind of wish some extreme-metal vocals made it in there on occasion, the vocals do lose their somewhat ugly edge. The final track, A Burden to Carry, also has heavier, faster riffs, traded off with more of the clean guitar picking typical of an Agalloch album. The guitar on this last one is excellent, and the vocals combine with its sound to actually soar a bit.

I'm not convinced that Deathwhite has a lot to offer yet -- they may be still feeling their way through their sound -- , but there are definitely some promising signs, especially in A Burden to Carry. If one doesn't consider Katatonia or Agalloch one's cup of tea, I'd let this album go by, but $5 on Bandcamp isn't exactly a ripoff for what this album delivers.

Bandcamp: http://deathwhite.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
A Burden to Carry
Andy quoted no quote
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