Sunday, August 9, 2015


Deathwhite: Solitary Martyr (self-release)
Deathwhite’s depressive/melancholic metal at first sounded interesting to me for being different. The singing is melodic, in a low-key, emotional way, very much in the style of present-day Katatonia, while the music sounds like metal, maybe a bit melodic and prog, in the sense of Opeth, by which I mean that it’s clear and pleasant to the ear, not abrasive. The music never kicks into high gear associated with metal, it stays melodic, the guitar is a just a tad thick, thick enough to sound like metal (but if you say it’s rock, you might be right, too); the clean guitar moments add to the spirit of melancholy, which this band seems to have mastered. Adding it all up, the music, I would say, would be the most appealing to supporters of melancholic metal, melodic doom metal, and I would also say that if latter-day Katatonia/Opeth/Agalloch are sounds that you really appreciate, Deathwhite will be a good, surprisingly strong band.
Deathwhite shares some traits with the late-period Katatonia, in the vocals and the overall vibe. Nevertheless, do not dismiss this band as some sort of “alternative” band. If this band will one day be a non-metal band, that’s not something that I know. Right now, with this album, this band definitely sounds like a metal band, a non-extreme metal band. There is no growling here. The EP is some 24 minutes long and it goes by fast, as the five songs are compact, lean, direct, with no fat, no excess. Let’s hope that they do not incorporate growling because, really, it’s so cliché, like you have to do it to please certain people. Forget certain people! Just do Deathwhite. Lots of people can growl, scream and yell, but not lots of people can sing. That’s the difference.
I realize that the review does not make the band appear “exciting,” and it might even give the impression that the music is a bit dull. While it is true that this is not headbanging metal, per se, if you like adult contemporary metal, low-key metal, with strong songs, give this band a real chance. It is very likely that they will sound like something new and different, in a good way, if you are willing to explore some new melodic metal.

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