Episode #140 of MSRcast features an interview with Swedish singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire Dan Swanö about WITHERSCAPE, the stunning new dark metal outfit he formed with fellow Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Widerberg. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
WITHERSCAPE will release its debut album, "The Inheritance", on July 29 in Europe and August 6 in North America via Century Media Records.
"The Inheritance" track listing:
01. Mother Of The Soul
02. Astrid Falls
03. Dead For A Day
04. Dying For The Sun
05. To The Calling Of Blood And Dreams
06. The Math Of The Myth
07. Crawling From Validity
08. The Wedlock Observation
09. The Inheritance
The official lyric video for the song "Dead For A Day" can be seen below.
Commented Swanö: "'Dead For A Day' is one of those songs that just wrote itself. I was strumming on the acoustic guitar one morning and it just poured out of my fingers.
"At first, I had no idea what to do with the song since I felt it was perhaps a bit too commercial for WITHERSCAPE, but after I played the demo to Ragnar, he insisted that it must be on the album!
"I love how the song moves between the mellow verses à la 'Crimson I' and 'II' to the more brutal, yet melodic chorus, in the tradition of 'Uncreation' and 'Twilight' through the groovy but 'undanceable' 9/8 section that leads to one of Ragnar's best guitar leads of the album."
"The Inheritance" is a pretty thick concept album split into different episodes and very briefly, the WITHERSCAPE story takes place in a remote village in northern Sweden in the late 1800's. The central character lives in Stockholm and comes from wealth, and upon the death of his family he's informed by the family lawyer that he has inherited a large estate up north. Having been oblivious to the estate's existence, he decides to investigate, and once he's there "all kinds of weird shit happens," according to Dan Swanö.
The hauntingly beautiful cover artwork for "The Inheritance", which can be seen above, was created by Travis Smith of Seempieces, who has previously worked with such bands as OPETH, NEVERMORE, DEATH and KATATONIA.
Swanö staes: "Both me and Ragnar are fascinated by old, abandoned buildings and it was pretty clear from the start that we would have the estate our main character inherits on the albumcover. We used Travis Smith as a 'medium' for our visual ideas and he did a spectacular job transforming our written wishes into a real image."
WITHERSCAPE marks the long overdue return as active composer and recording artist for Dan Swanö in the world of extreme metal, after having mostly been involved on the studio mixing end of things in these past years. Granted, "The Inheritance" is not purely a death metal release, but it smoothly showcases both the heavier and the mellow sides of Swanö's creativity and should consequently not only please fans of his earlier efforts like "Moontower" or the EDGE OF SANITY catalogue, but also attract friends of progressively atmospheric contemporary metal in the vein of OPETH, KATATONIA and AMORPHIS.
According to Swanö, WITHERSCAPE has been in planning for a long time, spawned as a result of his working relationship with Widerberg, which began at a Swedish music store. The two multi-instrumentalists discovered that they had so much in common musically that brainstorming for a full-on metal project of their own was the next logical step. Widerberg cites acts like early JUDAS PRIEST, RUSH, KING CRIMSON and MERCYFUL FATE as far as his inspirations in regards to WITHERSCAPE and Swanö elaborates his list to also include JUDAS PRIEST (1975-1989), VOIVOD, QUEENSRŸCHE, RUSH, MARILLION and MERCYFUL FATE.
Most dedicated metalheads will not only be able to call themselves owners of certain releases by one Dan's many outstanding bands/projects (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE), but also the work at his own Unisound studio will surely have left a mark in everyone's record collection at some point: OPETH, KATATONIA, DISSECTION, MERCILESS, 59 TIMES THE PAIN, DARK FUNERAL, HAIL OF BULLETS, MARDUK, MILLENCOLIN and NASUM, to name but a few.
Swanö has been no stranger to Century Media Records: He was originally involved with the death metal supergroup BLOODBATH (also featuring members of OPETH and KATATONIA), who released the "Breeding Death" EP as well as the amazing first two albums, "Resurrection Through Carnage" and "Nightmares Made Flesh", via Century Media. Most recently, Swanö has been heavily working again as producer and mixer of albums, including releases by Century Media artists such as ASPHYX, GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, ODDLAND and MORGOTH.