Withering Soul - Adverse Portrait
Mortal Music
Melodic Black Metal
8 songs (40'31'')
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Jared
Album of the month

Withering Soul, originally a side project then transformed into a full-fledged band, hail from the windy city of Chicago. Having released their last album No Closure in 2011, Adverse Portrait is the fourth studio album due out this June. Having completely overlooked this melodic black metal band with previous records, I feel like I have been sorely missing out on what these guys can do. Aiming to use their guitars in a threatening fashion, Withering Soul offers a haunting landscape that evokes themes of supernatural and psychological horrors.

Adverse Portrait begins with Vestige, a short introductory track to the album using keyboards to start things off by building up to the terror that waits. The lead from the guitars heightens the mood more and coats the introduction in a dark essence. No Longer Within, the following track, takes no time jumping into a clash of blast beats and sharpened melodic guitar riffs. Vocals are rough, but a twist at the end of the track reveals a softer vocal presence that gives this song a great and memorable edge with its low-toned gothic sound.

The haunting melody presented at the start of Hour of Obstinacy has an overcast of gloom, but emerges with a grand and sinister sound. Songs may be on themes of horror and the supernatural, but tracks are very fun and exciting to explore even after multiple listens. Adverse Portrait keeps things interesting with just about every track with their menacing and thorough sound, jumping from blisteringly sweet melodic leads to the slower and heavier chug of the guitars like found on Hex Illusion.

Adverse Portrait is not only surprising for me, but one of the best experiences I've had so far this year. Looking back what I have written so far for the year, this is the first album from 2015 to receive album of the month for me. Finishing up my bachelor’s degree may have had some reason behind that, but this album definitely deserves it. The terrifying atmosphere that shrouds each song in horror and the lethal sound the guitars and drums create, Adverse Portrait is an album melodic black metal fans should not miss.

Killing Songs :
Jared quoted 90 / 100
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