CHEVELLE AND WITHERFALL HIGHLIGHT THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Chevelle – Niratias
I say this with the release of every new Chevelle album, I realize that a lot of “true metal” guys aren’t into them. But I have dug them since first hearing “The Red” back in 2002. That’s almost 20 years of having this band in my ears. They have always straddled the line between, hard rock and what people deem to be alternative metal. To me, the riffs and melodies have always always been great.
La Gárgola is probably my favorite album by the band, with the track “An Island” being one of the songs I’ve played the most over the last few years. I wasn’t a huge fan of the album they released after, The North Corridor as it wasn’t as solid to me. But tracks off of this album still made my Chevelle playlist.
Most bands that have been around as long as they are longing for radio success to keep going. But Chevelle has thrown that notion right out the window by releasing “Self Destructor” as the lead-off single of the album. This track is close to 6 minutes long and doubles the time usually allotted to a radio-friendly track. Instead of being a long-drawn-out meandering proggy track, the Loeffler brothers have crafted a song that keeps you engaged and is over before you realize it was almost six minutes long.
The entire album is solid and was recorded entirely by Pete and Same Loeffler. It is another link in the evolutionary chain of the band. Although they’re pushing their limits, it’s still very much them. So if you’re a fan of the band, Nothing Is real And This Is A Simulation will more than likely be up your alley.
Check out the video for “Self Destructor” by Chevelle here:
Witherfall – Curse Of Autumn
I’ve followed this band since their inspection, being that I’ve either interviewed or interacted with Jake Dreyer and Joseph Michael in one way or another since their days in White Wizzard.
With each Witherfall album, they seem to just get better. Given that A Prelude To Sorrow was so strong, I was actually hesitant to listen to Curse of Autumn. This happens to all of us, you love an album and the next one isn’t nearly as good, making you go back to the previous release. See Chevelle’s The Northern Corridor vs. La Gárgola for example.
But Witherfall started releasing videos a few months back for this album. Elaborate videos with various themes, and to top it off, great music behind them. This makes me think that the band has maximized any downtime they might have had during the pandemic. While others have wallowed about not being able to do certain things, Witherfall has seemed to have thrown caution to the wind and just done the absolute best that they can with this album.
There are a few things that you can point to as the catalyst for the band turning things up a notch on this album. Perhaps it is Dreyer who recently exited Iced Earth and Demons And Wizards, assuring this was now his main focus. You also have the incorporation of The Aristocrats drummer Marco Minnemann. A world-class musician that is known to a lot of people for auditioning to replace Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater.
You’ll find that the songs on Curse Of Autumn see the band becoming more complex, cohesive, and melodic at the same time. They’re amping things up to show that although their members are known for being a part of bigger-name bands, Witherfall can hang with them, and in some cases even leave those known entities behind.
This album is a statement to show that they’re players and not just a sideband. I recommend this album to anyone that has not previously listened to them as a gateway to get into what the band has to offer. Or anyone that doesn’t think that newer bands have something to offer.
Checkout Witherfall with “As I Lie Awake”:
HERE ARE SOME OTHER RELEASES YOU MIGHT BE INTO
A Day To Remember – You’re Welcome
Demon Hunter – Songs Of Death And Resurrection
Insane Clown Posse – Yum Yum Bedlam
Baest – Necro Sapiens
SOM – Awake
Dreamshade – A Pale Blue Dot
Chase Atlantic – Beauty in Death
The Spill Canvas – Conduit
Wolfheart – Skull Soldiers
Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell
Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
I don’t normally say anything about reissues unless things are really slow, but these releases really bother me. Both of these albums have been reissued several times in the past. Both album’s sound was sonically improved already, without deviating much from the original mix as they did with the reissue of Dehuminizer.
But what really bugs me is that nothing here is new. Back in 2007, they released the compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. Two months later they released Live At Hammersmith Odeon. Parts of this album were already included in the UK release of this aforementioned greatest hits package. Then it was also included in the 2010 reissue of The Mob Rules. All of the “new live tracks” being released today, were originally released in 2007! It seems as if they’re trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. They’re making it seem like this is the first time these songs are available.
But what do I know, when mentioning this in a vinyl group I’m a part of people kind of shrugged it off. They’re collectors and want to get their hand on this variation, even though they already have previous versions of these albums.
For me personally, a few live tracks that have been available on the bootleg market for decades, and previously officially released, plus mono versions of certain tracks (seriously AM radio mix?) really do not make me want to rush out and get this. But to each their own, spend your money as you like.
Now, if we’re talking about recent reissues of Vol. 4 and Paranoid, I get that. There is a lot more being offered, so even if let’s say these live and mono versions are part of a big boxed set like that, I would then understand. But to sell it like “for the first time anywhere”, when it’s actually “for the first time this decade”, kind of annoys me.
Having said all of this, I love these albums, and I love hearing songs off of Live At Hammersmith Odeon, which I already own. The live rendition of “Country Girl” is beyond cool. I just wish these albums were marketed differently. After all, it seems as if most of this material is being repackaged every ten or so years.
Thundermother – Road Fever Vinyl
Thundermother – Thundermother Vinyl
Paradise Lost – Gothic Live At Roadburn 2016
Iron Man – Hail To The Riff