In what may be a bit of a challenge for me, this album is actually a near-nineteen-minute single track. However, Norway’s Goddess shows a lot of promise with their song, The Withering.
The Withering was actually recorded back in 2014, and an edited version was released on a recording school’s private label. Goddess vocalist and guitarist, Alexander Mora, actually runs the Voidcaller Records label. After getting a new mix and mastering, The Withering is getting a fresh release for 2016.
The Withering consists of several movements. It opens with a slow and delicate classically-inspired guitar line. Around two minutes in, the throwback stoner doom rhythm and vocals begin before transitioning into a near-death metal delivery on the second verse. These trade back and forth a few times before slipping into a trippy, sludgy interlude.
From there we move into a primarily instrumental set of solos. These stick to familiar stoner territory. A sense of journey and building intensity slowly progress, leading up to the song’s finale.
The track’s remaining three minutes end with a distorted, yet soaring, female vocal which serves as the apex to the build we’ve been getting throughout the prior fifteen. Finally, we come full-circle and close with the classical guitar sound from the beginning.
If you’re a fan of both fuzzed-out stoner doom and epic doom, then The Withering is definitely something you need to be checking out. I found it fairly engaging, even though I’m sure the length alone is going to put a few people off. I will say that fans of bands like The Sword or High on Fire need to give this a listen. Goddess are definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Available at Bandcamp and selected other retailers.
Special thanks to Against PR for the complementary review copy.