AFM Records (2012)
Progressive death metal tends to get lost in the sub-genre shuffle possibly due to its necessary listener engagement. You aren’t going to get every riff, every time change or tempo manipulation instantaneously. A lot of times people who like outside the box arrangements with complexity and technical prowess believe gruff, growling vocals are out of place. Germany’s Words Of Farewell differ from the norm in the sense that their progressive riffing and songwriting doesn’t beat you over the head- its subtle textures that build up over the course of these 9 songs in a magical, mystical and very dramatic manner.
Their sound has a lot in common with early Dark Tranquility and Christian Alvestam-led Scar Symmetry, where the dual guitar harmony dynamics serve up the melodic hook landscape against the deep, guttural vocals and the keyboards are extra-terrestrial. Vocalist Alexander Otto remains steadfast in his death roars and screams, not daring to churn out a weak clean chorus and as a result making songs like “On Second Thought” and “Urban Panorama” wind mill worthy and should separate the true followers from any stray bandwagon jumpers. The opener “Project: Daybreak” contains guitar and drum parts that vary between slight djent/ staccato picking and chord sequences into fluent melodic soloing sections while the percussion maintains semblance of the changes taking place measure after measure. Keyboardist Leo Wichmann pushes an alternative dynamic with his softer, new age fluency on his solo part for “Ever After”- an older demo track from 2008 that still stands up well today.
Given Scar Symmetry’s up and down track record since Christian’s departure, Words Of Farewell could slide comfortably into that semi-progressive death metal standout slot. “Immersion” as a debut album has this comfortable confidence, outstanding attention to detail with the performances and songwriting, leading me to believe this act will be going places on all four corners of the globe.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe