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Raptures’ introduction to the Heavy Metal world was nothing short of spectacular. When the time for their sophomore release was at hand, they once again delivered. With this new album comes some new and welcome changes to the bands already unique take on Katatonia's sound in that they further it and make it more their own.
The production is good, more or less on par with the first album. This album doesn't start the same as 'Futile' did. It goes right for the jugular and forgoes the intro. The guitars are heavier utilizing a lot more palm muting. The leads are still melancholic and harmonized. There is even a solo of sorts.
The bass still follows the guitars but it’s a good thing. The drums are still minimalistic but this too is also a good thing. One of the biggest changes to the band would be the addition of a clean vocalist. He adds a very unique angle to the band as his vocals are almost always harmonized and if it wasn’t for the harmonization they probably wouldn’t work.
The grim vocals are still a point of contention as they still just don't fit the music as a whole. They are throatier on this release however. The lyrics are still the depression/suicide mode of the previous album.
This album, while arguably not as good as their first, is still amazing on its own merits. Track four is a curious song as the main riff sounds as if all the guitars strings are being strummed at the same time without the guitarists' fingers on the fret board, only to slide into a chord followed by some melodic yet delayed leads. The rest of the songs are more or less in the same mode/style as on 'Futile' but different. While not ground breaking, this is still pretty good.
There is a lot of energy on this release which is no easy feat considering that this is Doomdeath. The vibe is down and the atmosphere thick, filling the listener with despair and hopelessness. This is a brilliant follow up to an even more brilliant start. If you’re new to this band, this is a good starting point as it takes the best of what the first album had to offer and enhances it.
Now this is the album i was waiting for, for a long time! Melodic doom/death metal band, Rapture, are hailing from Finland and are one of the brightest stars in nowadays metal galaxy. Combining soft, emotional parts, with hard and aggressive moments, depressive lyrics and atmosphere they are going to get the attention of every doom metal lover. Music may sound like Katatonia in "Tonight's Decision" period, but belie me, Rapture have just took this atmosphere and led it to a completely new dimension and absolute perfection! Incredible production - clean and powerful, with raw and gentle guitars; clean and harsh growling vocals which sound like they are coming from the deepest abysses of hell. That's in short what you can expect from their second album - "Songs For The Withering". It features nine studio tracks and a bit over 45 minutes of brilliant music. If you asked me to choose the best song off the album, that would be the worst thing you could ask me - because every song is perfect! There are no good/so-so songs on this album, especially not band songs! Each one has some kind of hidden magic, crystallized through great melodies and depressive lyrics. Opening track, "Nameless" is more-less the kind of song you would expect from such band. With middle tempo, powerful and melodic parts, great guitar leads. Lyrics are talking about loneliness, more like a feeling when you are lost in this world - "every turn I take, leads me back to where I started from". The atmosphere gets really different in "Gallows". It reminded me of early works of Amorphis, really powerful and catchy guitars and perfect growling by Henri. I think this one is more personal and metaphoric. Very complex song indeed, with enormous lyrics, worked out in a great manner.
"Two Dead Names" leads us to more romantic landscapes, one of the best songs off this album. Petri wrote this song, so it's logical he would dominate in vocals. Some kind of energetic ballad - "if I was the sky would I hold you dear... two dead names waiting..." - very strong sentence! The balance between Henri's and Petri's is done great on "Transfixion", while the lyrics touch the motive of suicide. Bass guitars are much better now, heavy. "The Vast" is one more masterpiece, and probably the best song on "Songs For The Withering" - but I'm saying again - all of them are masterpieces! Just listen to them and enjoy in Aleksi's talent for creating great music. Complexity and metaphors in lyrics - "Raintracks" - this song needs a bit more time, in order to understand her. More progressive with lots of ambiguous moments. Bravo!
"Enveloped" is faster song, more like mainstream (they've promoted it as a first single). This was the first song I have heard off this album, and it made me buy it. Simply amazing. Catchy tunes won't let you press 'repeat' button on your CD player or WinAmp. "The Great Distance" is a classic Rapture song, if I may say so. It follows the same rules and melodies as the songs before it. And before we go out of Rapture's amazing world, we will explore one more masterpiece - "Farewell" with seven minutes of epic doom metal. This track is hard, slow... creating an explosion inside your mind. If you like metal music, you will definitely love Rapture! You MUST give this album an listen, because this is a type of album that's created once in a 10 years.
If there was ever a band so influenced by Katatonia, it would be Rapture. The comparison to Katatonia is overwhelming (I compare it to "Brave Murder Day"-era Katatonia)
The vocals on this album range from deep-Death growls on some parts, with melodic clean singing on others. The death growls are the typical growls expected from a doomdeath band. The singing is quite good, and sometimes the singer does pull off a depressed sound in his voice.
The guitar work is very average. Most of the album is very simple chords played in a Rhythm-guitar like fashion. The drums on the album is very simple, also.
The average tempo of a song on "Songs for the Withering" is moderate. They are actually quite fast in tempo compared to most other Doom bands.
This album is by no means exceptional, but still a good listen
BEST TRACKS ON ALBUM: "Two Dead Names" and "Farewell"
Rapture's first album "Futile' is easily compared to the likes of Katatonia, among others. Now on 'Songs for the Withering' with the addition of a clean vocalist, the comparisons to Anathema are nearly unmistakable. Rapture aren't total clones however, they just seem to be using other bands styles as a backbone to add to their melancholic style of melodic death metal, or death/doom. Call it what you will, I wouldn't really classify this as a doom album, the songs do sound depressive, but they also have an upbeat feel to them. Not too far from something Sentenced might do if they added a vocalist who could growl...
The production (better than the last album by far) and the fine songwriting skills are what made me give this album a high rating. It's good shit even if it's the opposite of genre defying. That is to say, if you are a fan of any of the bands previously mentioned, or perhaps Paradise Lost, this could be a great cd to check out. It has fast parts, and slower parts, death growls, clean vocals, and memorable songs (for the mostpart) evem with some catchy choruses. All the musicians are highly skilled and it shows. There is enough variance in the riffs to keep you interested, even though I'm sure some people will just find this a boring rip off, I would reccomend at least giving this album a chance.
Standout track - Nameless