Darker passages, miles away from any essence of light, Los Angeles’ Progressive Power Metal quintet bring forth a communion of the wicked into the ode of despair with their corrupting sophomore album A Prelude to Sorrow; delivering their dimmest and most un-illuminated Heavy Metal outlet to date. For those consequently unfamiliar with the zealous elite of Witherfall, the band reign superior transposing antagonistic progressive elements with incandescent guitar riffs and indignant disjointed drum patterns into a bleak atmospheric pit; capturing morbid tales of walking shadows and increasingly deranging whims of sorrow.
Still intensely demonstrated with a claustrophobic agenda, Witherfall initiate proceedings with a sinister instigation before unexpectedly drizzling a receptacle of magma onto the loins of a neighboring and ghastly ambience, through the ambitiously extensive ‘We Are Nothing’; profoundly manifesting the paramount modulation of emptiness, isolation and suffering. The exertion of gripping guitar melodies of axe man Jake Dreyer and the exceedingly ardent drum signatures of Steve Bolognese immaculately stratified with the formidable vocals of Joseph Michael is a virtuous gratification to bring allusion to with some superlative effect and promise. This is adequately evident throughout the duration of ‘The Prelude to Sorrow’, causing the body to untimely shiver in unrivalled stupefaction.
Other prominent culminations are the moderately shorter tracks of ‘Communion of the Wicked’ and ‘Shadows’; still distinctly immersed in progressively-stylized catacombs and overflowing with unlighted fragments to chill the bones of the most fearless warriors. One salient thing to take account of is that A Prelude to Sorrow appears to be too bloated in parts causing attention spans to be reckoned with due to lengthy counterparts and extended instrumental components losing the listener with simplicity and ease; as apparent through the disconnected and lengthy contender ‘Vintage’. Additionally, there are a duology of songs that are recognizable fillers on this album, which appear in the essence of the needless nearly instrumental drag of ‘The Call’ and the abnormal unattractiveness of ‘Ode to Despair’, nevertheless they substantially both have their elevated harmonious peaks and acute haunting passages; suffering from tedious dejected roots and enormous holes of bleakness, whilst unfortunately losing emotive charisma before casually leading to paths of nowhere.
Even though the sinister shades of darkness are present throughout ‘A Prelude to Sorrow’, the album is not as solidly justified as solemnly promised; not ticking all the right boxes in the process and regretfully not delivering the highest quality musical compositions possible from a tremendously talented outfit like Witherfall. Nevertheless, the transposing of the gifted progressive elements are surpassed with immense gratitude, however at times they appear to be richly overdone in places. They end up dragging the foot of the composition through unnatural wavelengths leaving the basis way too far behind. Morbid tales of walking shadows are deviously and successfully created from depths of Witherfall but not as competently as anticipated, nonetheless the musical companionship and formula works wonders; permitting Witherfall to narrowly find their prelude to sorrow.