Chris Freeman ~ Guitars/Vocals | Mike Thompson ~ Guitars/Vocals
Mike Longoria ~ Bass | Beau Brandon ~ Drums/Percussion
withered was formed in the early summer of 2003 in atlanta, ga. Chris and Mike, founding and current members of the grindcore/crust punk band social infestation, wanted to explore extreme music and create something with black metal overtones and dramatic guitar melodies while still clinging to their punk and grind roots. they needed an unrelenting percussion force to accomplish this so they called upon long time friend and accomplished drummer, Wes Kever (ex puaka balava). the three piece began to write and discovered what kind of band withered was going to become. after a few songs they realized it was time to find the bassist that could fill out withered's sound and audibly obliterate their listeners. They called upon Greg Hess, the former bassist for leechmilk(RIP). He was known for pummeling his instrument and his menacing sludgy background helped shape what would become withered as it is today. withered has been touring and stirring up a frenzy in the eastern US supporting bands like mastodon and exhumed. they spent the first half of 2004 completing their 5 song EP "order born from chaos" (soon to be released) with producer Michael Green (light pupil dilate). They have released 3 of the songs on a demo CD which has been gaining tremendous momentum and praise. Songs like "the fear and pain that cripples me" are an unrelenting force of grind and metal while the almost nine minute epic "like locusts" embraces the darkest attributes of life with lulling guitar melodies, majestic riffage, and blistering verses. In April 2005, withered inked a deal with Metal/Hardcore heavy hitters, LIFEFORCE RECORDS. They then went back in the studio to record two more songs and turned the would-be EP into "MEMENTO MORI", their debut full length. It features artwork by PAUL ROMANO (mastodon, nasum, godflesh, trivium) and has been recognized and praised throughout the world for its intense stylings and sophisticated arrangements. It has definitely carved withered a permanent position among top acts in extreme music.
In the fall of 2006, withered parted ways with Greg Hess. Long time friend, Herb Jowett (lickgoldensky), filled in on bass duties for an eastern US fall tour w/ Dismember, Grave, Vital Remains, and Demiricous. In the winter, withered recruited Mike Longoria to fill in for local and regional shows but ultimately became a permanent member.
MEMENTO MORI (2005 Lifeforce Records)
Withered have created here on Memento Mori a brutal and unrelenting tsunami of crushing death and doom metal. This is take no prisoners music boys and girls, and not for the faint of heart, but if you like early 90's death metal from the likes of Entombed and Unleashed, or dig the powerful and relentless sounds of newer acts like Mastodon or High on Fire, Withered might just be for you. These guys have a somewhat sludgy guitar sound that is fairly technical at times, yet also borders on doom, especially on songs like "Beyond Wrath" and "Fear and Pain That Cripples Me". Vocally, as you would expect, there's plenty of death growling and modern metal screams here. The switching back and forth between some of the speedier death metal pieces and the slow dirges adds some variety to the CD, but no matter what way you look at it, this is primal, fearsome stuff, that will surely cause some excitement in the extreme metal world. Be aware that the CD is just a little over 30 minutes long, so hopefully on the bands next release they will have a little more material to give to the fans that they are certain to obtain with Memento Mori.
Rating: 3.5 stars
- Sea Of Tranquility
What if you mix Death-Metal with some Doom and Hardcore...Withered. This is the first time I heard of these guys. Withered are not so much into this technical stuff...they´re more into the fat riff and pure violence. The first thought I had when I´ve put in this CD..."oh my god, I wanna see these guys live!". Their sound can be decribed as a fantastic blend out of early Death-Metal in the vein of Nihilist with some elements of newer Metal like Mastodon and High On Fire. This CD is a f**ing monster...ready to tear your soul appart. I heard a lot of really fantastic music lately and withered counts defnetly to the highlights this year.
Rating: 7 banging heads
From Atlanta comes this band named Withered. They are somewhat of a recent band as well since they were only formed in 2003, and "Memento Mori" is their debut album which should hit the stores all over the world somewhere around the next month.
I had no idea of what to expect from this release, maybe something within the Hardcore style like most releases from their label, Lifeforce Records, but after listening to this album I have to say I was quite surprised. With the promo also comes a little info about the band and their music (biography, etc.), but in this case it says it all... I mean, I was reading while listening and I felt exactly the same thing, which kind of makes my review pointless because I'm not exactly adding anything new.
Their music style is pretty much Death Metal with some influences from Modern Metal, specially that "sludgy" vibe they mention here. But don't expect the music to be slow or boring, it still can be fast and aggressive with furious guitar riffs and pounding drums that blast away like there's no tomorrow.
"Memento Mori" is not very big in terms of time length (around 36 minutes), but I'm certain it will create quite an impact in the Metal scene when it's unleashed into the streets. Destpite the some differences in terms of sound, I can't help help but compare these guys to the highly acclaimed albums from Mastodon and Trivium, so you better be sure you are ready for this one.
Overall Rating: 8.5
- Metal March (Crepusculo)
Hot damn! Here's a vicious demo from this relatively new band featuring current and former members of Social Infestation, Leechmilk, and Puaka Balava that could best be described as blackened death/grind sludge! Wordy and all over the place, I know, but trust me… that's exactly what this is, and it's awesome!.......Click Here for the entire review!
- Aversionline (Andrew)
If you heard Withered not reading this review or band's biography, you wouldn't probably guess that this Georgia band was formed by musicians known from Social Infestation and Puaka Balava. Although both these projects are a good recommendation, Withered's style is different, I would say completely different. Three tracks taken from the upcoming EP remind me of old Swedish death metal school, especially the best early Edge of Sanity's albums. It means that riffing is melodic but at the same time powerful and brutal. The opening track, "The Fear and Pain that Cripples Me", is fastest and most violent. Not only fans of old Scandinavian tradition will be delighted listening to it, but also maniacs of US brutality, characteristic for example for early Immolation's materials. This composition impressed me. The other tracks are more varied because of frequent tempo changes: fast drumming is combined with slow parts. "Within Your Grief" is heavy almost like a doom/death metal song, although it has violent parts too. Perhaps some riffs could be less melodic but heaviness is never in danger. "Like Locusts" one can even call an epic composition with dark introduction and great combination of fast and slow but always majestic riffs in the next parts of the composition. If other Withered's tracks are in the same vein, I guarantee you death metal of highest quality.
- metal side (damian)
Brutal music out of Georgia. The Demonstration CD features 3 tracks from the forthcoming 5 song EP Order Born From Chaos. Withered, formed in 2003, features Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson of the crust punk/grindcore outfit Social Infestation in control of some very heavy guitar and gruff vocal duties. Leaning toward death and black metal, these songs destroy. Holding up the rhythm section are Wes Kever (Puaka Balava) on drums and former Leechmilk bassist Greg Hess, who they recruited at a show in the basement of Brent Hinds (Mastodon). What does this mean? Face melting power grind worthy of high praise. All 3 songs contain intriguing structure. They sway from full-on grind, power-crust to a heavy sludge melody. Nice guitar work. This could very well be the heaviest band ever!
- boggob magazine (Bobby)