After reading a plethora of praising review lines and selling points about Withering Soul’s No Closure - their first album in seven years - I’m amazed... because I truly can’t grasp what makes this album that outstanding. What my ears hear is some very basic, modern and fast melodic / symphonic black metal with some death metal chugging therein, and this combo most certainly doesn’t offer anything we haven’t heard before, and what hasn’t already been done better. No matter how many spins I’m trying to give to the album, I simply don’t see the appeal and wonder how much someone has paid for the reviewers... Okay, I’m starting to be over the line here but that’s what comes to my mind in all honesty, anyways.
The band members are most certainly professional here, all instruments are handled with tight precision - to the point that e.g. the triggered and upfront bass drum is mostly just annoying - and there’s always something happening in the soundscape - No Closure is energetic throughout, that’s for sure. The main glitch of the album, however, resides in the compositions that kind of reek of unoriginality and tameness. If I want to listen to metal, I expect to hear something ominous and daring, not a light version with semi-happy melodies and overall unnecessary accessibility. Hence my favourite piece of No Closure is actually the ambient outro ”A Requiem of Sorrow” - utilizing synths, bass guitar and cavernous piano - that is done rather well.
It hurst me a little to rant this heavily over an album whose makers have probably spent a lot of time crafting it, so if we want to take a peek into another positive moment of the album, there’s the gothic influenced ”Unquiet” that incorporates some female vocals on the chorus and it fits well. In fact, this song is of rather high quality on the first half until it later bursts into the metal that kind of struggles with all the joyful and harmless melodies. No Closure might have its fanbase among the youngsters and those who are getting into black metal and/or don’t want to have it too daunting yet. In a nutshell: not a total failure, but crucially lacking to inspire me at all.