Good Morning; Here’s a New Withered Track, “By Tooth in Tongue”
It’s been too long since we’ve heard from blackened death-sludge unit Withered, whose last album, Grief Relic, arrived in May of 2016 (with one standalone single to tide us over in the meantime). Even if it was a full six years between that release and the one before it, five years this time around is still way too much time; we’ve long been big fans of Withered here at the MS Mansion, and patience isn’t our forte.
So we’re happy to report that Withered’s sultry, bludgeoning sounds will once again fill our (and your) earholes on June 25 when their new album, Verloren (German for “lost”), arrives. And you can get your first taste of the record right now through “By Tooth in Tongue,” an eight-plus minute steamroller of a track that contains all of the elements that have made Withered Withered over the years: pummeling death riffs, ground-shaking sludge shots, a blackened sensibility and soul-destroying vocal blasts, all within an adventurous almost proggy shell that’s got plenty of ear candy to latch onto.
Guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson explains of the new album:
“Rafay [Nabeel, bassist] wanted to use the theme of ‘missing’, which was broad and abstract, so I dialed it down to be more about this outlook I’ve developed over the years about how each of us have a ‘Love Well.’ Every bit of love you get from your parents, your upbringing and your learning how to receive and experience love in relationships and through experiences contributes to the well. Your traumas counterbalance that and take away from it, especially when foundational core elements take a hit, like the untimely loss of a parent. That’s one of life’s unique puzzle pieces and when that piece is removed it’s never going to be replaced.
“We’re equipped with a certain capacity – our wells are filled to a certain level – and when you start getting smacked with traumas, whatever you have in that well – your defense mechanisms – can get worn down pretty quickly, especially for someone who has never really known love because of a broken home, difficult relationships or whatever. Each one of us in Withered carry unique traumas that we’ve focused this new record on. For me, most of my significant losses are from older wounds that I’ve dealt with through Withered from the very beginning, but with this being the first album with Dan and Rafay, it’s like a new exercise for them to really focus on the things they’ve been carrying around.”
“About two years before I started Withered I went through a series of traumas where I was forced to take stock of and define my foundational ‘puzzle pieces’ that could be taken away and what the trauma and grief is going to look like when I lose close family and/or friends I truly care about. Ironically, one I didn’t face until recently was Withered. No one ever thought that not being able to play shows or tour because of a pandemic was even feasible.
“I processed the idea of losing Withered and playing music and touring and everything else around the time of ‘Grief Relic‘ when two guys quit the band and I lost a lot of steam and inspiration. Luckily, Beau was there to kick my ass and shake me out of it. When it comes to this album, there was an initial suffering of anxiety because of the uncertainty in the world and the fear of losing this album because we put a lot into it, are super proud of it and it is the best Withered album yet. It’s important for my inspiration and motivation to go forward. It takes so much effort for us to create a record, the thought of it for it to all be for naught or potentially be wasted just destroys me.”
You can check out “By Tooth in Tongue” below along with a rather unsettling video.