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Decent melodeath - 65%

deadweight2, December 21st, 2008

This is listenable Gothenburg-style melodic death. It's nothing unique or special but it's pretty decent -- it's on my iPod Nano right now.

The album tends more towards aggression/brutality rather than beautiful guitar melodies, but it's still definitely got some interesting guitarwork going on. There are a few short guitar solos that are pretty darn cool, are tastefully integrated into the songs, and don't feel like wanking. The singer screams more than growls for much of the album. If that's not your thing, you may have mixed feelings about Ichor. The rhythm section does a good job of setting up an unobtrusive groove that keeps things moving.

One really nice touch is the way the album incorporates short samples from movies and other sources. This adds some variety and contrast that complements the heaviness of the music and singer extremely well. It reminds me a bit of Helstar's Nosferatu in this respect.

The best songs are probably the first two, "Superior Seed" and "The White Path".

Be warned that this is a short album: an EP with only 5 songs. The last song, Whorebride, is a live recording; both the song and production on Whorebride are terrible, so really this is a 4-song album, amounting to 16 minutes and 30 seconds of music (not counting Whorebride). So this is pretty short -- but the stuff that is on Ichor is pretty good. Also, unlike other bands' practice of issuing EPs with several of the same songs as found on their full-length albums, this EP seems to have no overlap with Withering Surface's other albums, so Ichor won't be a wasted purchase even if you end up buying all of Withering Surface's other full-length albums.

By the way, in my opinion Ichor is far better than Scarlet Silhouettes or Force the Pace. If you like classic Gothenburg melodeath and haven't tried Withering Surface yet, I'd start with Ichor, as in my opinion this is their best output.