Withering Scorn – Prophets of Demise (Frontiers Music)

Friday, 7th July 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Avid metalheads are already familiar with the four players within this new musical entity Withering Scorn. Brothers Shawn and Glen Drover as drummer and guitarist respectively have worked with Megadeth beyond their years together in Eidolon, while bassist Joe DiBiase cut his teeth in Fates Warning and vocalist Henning Basse has been a part of Metalium, Firewind and other acts. When professional musicians get together for a debut album such as Prophets of Demise, the main factor to be concerned with is positioning the talent in the best spots possible to achieve the desired, effective outcome. Choosing to create a pure heavy metal record, it’s obvious that these gentlemen settled into a comfortable zone in this set of material – the results assuredly appetizing for all.

The fiery nature to most of the riffing beyond the powerhouse rhythm section foundation allows Henning to unleash his vicious, versatile range as a vocalist – hitting many falsetto screams a la Rob Halford during his Painkiller-era in a highlight song like “Pick Up the Pieces”. Progressive elements also appear from time to time – check out the musical interplay between the trio in the opening measures for “Ancient Desire”, as the song shifts into a mid-tempo power outing where Glen injects quick harmonic runs next to a highly infectious main hook. The influence tree can also be culled from previous experience already treasured – “Dark Reflection” possessing that theatrical element, active double kick, plus measured melodies that fits classic King Diamond, while the almost eight-minute closer “Eternal Screams” has that haunting, epic feel which came up during the Eidolon days. Old school thrash ethics makes “Dethroned” another standout, the vocals matching the energy of the thunderous music, the quick hitting lead break containing exotic strains for dynamic contrast. What’s also refreshing is the tighter, vinyl length aspect to the record – eight songs whirling by in a tidy forty minutes.

Three years in the making, Withering Scorn with Prophets of Demise establishes a laser focused record that lives for an unflinching passion for heavy metal – without compromise. It should be interesting to watch the development of this group on future releases, as they’ve got all the tools to cultivate quite a healthy following right away.

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