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Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary Review

Released by: Century Media Records

Release date: July 22, 2016

Genre: Melodic Death Metal



Line up:

Ragnar Widerberg – guitar, bass

Dan Swano – vocals, keyboards, drums



1. Wake Of Infinity

2. In The Eyes Of Idols

3. Rapture Ballet

4. The Examiner

5. Marionette

6. Divinity

7. God Of Ruin

8. The Northern Sanctuary

9. Vila I Frid


Witherscape is a progressive death metal band from Sweden, established in 2013 (for those being exposed to these geniuses for the first time, like myself) featuring Ragnar Widerberg on guitar and bass and the all mighty Dan Swano on vocals, keyboards, and drums.

Dano Swano is regarded as influential in the underground melodic death metal, black metal, progressive metal, death metal, progressive rock, and power metal communities. He is known for his progressive rock-influenced songwriting style and his frequent use of both clean and growled vocals. With 2016’s “The Northern Sanctuary” we can most certainly hear and feel the use of his influential styles, with such lyrical themes as life, death, feelings, and nostalgia.

Witherscape’s new full length album “The Northern Sanctuary” being released on Century Media Records in July is a brilliant follow up to 2013’s “The Inheritance”. The perfect infusion of progressive rock and extreme metal. “Wake Of Infinity” starts off with a soft melodic piano piece that busts into an amazing death metal riff. Right away I’m drawn in, leaving me nothing short of wanting more. “The Examiner” has a chorus that you sing, riff you hum and still kick your ass each time you listen to it, as do all tracks on this album. What stood out the most for me is their 13 minute title track “The Northern Sanctuary”, this epic piece showcases the best features of the band in one track. Everything you could possibly want is presented somewhere in this song. When the vocals kick in it continues the progressive feeling, then leads to the most beautiful passage riff before going full blown classic death metal with growls, chugging guitars and thunderous double bass.

I believe Dan has definitely found a true musical collaborator in Ragnar and the two make an awesome team. My hope is that “The Northern Sanctuary” gives Dan Swano the recognition he seems to so richly deserve.


Written by: Danielle Bates

Ratings:  Danielle   10/10


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