Witherscape: The Inheritance

Dark prog metal from Sweden’s heavy metal polymath

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Dan Swanö has long exhibited a desire to explore heavy music’s haziest shadows. Having teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Widerberg, he’s planted his creative flag firmly in progressive territory here, with shades of early Opeth, latter-day Amorphis and prime 70s prog colouring an idiosyncratic and inventive sonic canvas.

Cohesive and bulging with moments of melodic grandeur, The Inheritance is an unpredictable ride wherein Swanö’s versatile vocals snarl and soar amid a mesmerising cyclone of ideas. Whether plunging into death-metal depths or harnessing timeless textures via analogue synths, the combination of which make the epic Astrid Falls a highlight, Witherscape sound both utterly sincere and custom-built to delight anyone who has grown weary of modern metal’s often stultifying myopia.

Although this is plainly Swanö’s show, Widerberg’s contribution is not to be underestimated; his spiralling leads add thick layers of emotional punch to the fiery Dead For A Day and the elegantly fractured denouement of The Wedlock Observation. Simply sublime.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.