Author Topic: The WITHERFALL Thread - New Year, New News!!!  (Read 3572 times)

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Offline Mister Gold

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The WITHERFALL Thread - New Year, New News!!!
« on: February 07, 2017, 05:30:23 PM »
It's been awhile since I've done much of any regular posting around here, but I happened to stumble upon a brand new band this afternoon that immediately struck a chord with me: Witherfall, featuring one of White Wizzard's many ex-singers Joseph Michael on vocals and keyboards, Iced Earth's new lead guitarist Jake Dreyer, Adam Sagan of Circle II Circle and Into Eternity fame on drums and bassist Anthony Crawford from Virgil Donati's band.

And you know what? This band kicks a LOT of ass. Quite frankly, their debut album Nocturnes and Requiems just set an incredibly high bar for my personal Album of the Year for 2017.

As the thread title suggests, Witherfall's sound feels like a blend of bands like Savatage, Nevermore and Pink Floyd. There's a lot of other influences like Awaken the Guardian/No Exit-era Fates Warning, King Diamond and Opeth, but my mind typically drifts towards the first three bands. This is some very dark and brooding progressive metal.

While the whole band is fantastic, Dreyer is especially impressive in how he's able to blend Criss Oliva/Jeff Loomis/Yngwie Malmsteen school of neoclassical shredding with more melodious and atmosphere driven David Gilmour-esque guitar playing as well. I'm excited to see what sort of solos he'll contribute to the next Iced Earth album and hope that Jon Schaffer decides to let Dreyer do some co-writing for future albums with the band if he sticks around longterm. This guy is someone to watch moving forward.

Joseph Michael is also great too. I've seen people comparing him to the likes of Rob Halford, Zak Stevens and Tim Aymar, but personally Michael reminds me mostly of Midnight from Crimson Glory. However, I think it's also worth highlighting his keyboard contributions to the band too- it adds a lot to the band's more atmospheric Floydian moments.

Tragically the drummer, Adam Sagan, passed away back in December from a bout with cancer before the album's release. I'm hoping the rest of the band find a suitable successor to Sagan and move forward, because this debut is one of the best I've heard from a band in quite a long time.

The album officially releases this Friday, but the band just uploaded the whole thing on YouTube for free streaming with Loudwire.

Album Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM1VAXrF4Rk
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 04:52:23 AM by Mister Gold »
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Offline TAC

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 05:40:22 PM »
Damn!
 :metal


Sounds awesome Mr. G.
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Offline mikeyd23

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 07:30:18 AM »
Listening now, sounds pretty cool!

Offline Art

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 08:27:35 AM »
It's the second review i read praising this band. I will check the record friday!

Offline Mister Gold

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 08:48:14 AM »
Damn!
 :metal


Sounds awesome Mr. G.
Listening now, sounds pretty cool!
It's the second review i read praising this band. I will check the record friday!

I'm kind of amazed that I found this album when I did. Usually I come across bands that have been around for awhile or something. Not used to finding a band that's on the verge of releasing their debut album at all! :lol

I think one of the key things that I really love about this band is how they merge so many different influences together into one sound. The key sound is basically "Savatage meets Nevermore meets King Diamond," but there's a lot more to it. There's something very Scandinavian about Witherfall's sound and mood, if that makes any sense. They're a clean vocals prog metal band that has a bit of a black metal and death metal vibe ringing underneath it all.

You can hear shades of bands like Opeth and Death bubbling throughout all the gothic neoclassical prog- and then the band changes gears to go into Floydian territory (i.e. there's parts on Sacrifice that sound like something out of "Sheep" from the Animals album). And it's all pretty catchy too, which I really dig. :metal
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Offline Samsara

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 09:10:52 AM »
MG -- as we discussed yesterday, I agree -- it's a really good record for sure. I dig it. They really ride a great line between great prog metal and getting too pompous. I like it.
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Offline Grappler

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 10:50:59 AM »
Scanning through the album stream and I'm definitely impressed.  Wasn't initially sold on the singer until I heard him sing some higher notes.   :metal

I'll have to remember this once I have some money to buy music again, since household repairs are controlling my budget this month.

Offline Mister Gold

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 09:23:51 AM »
MG -- as we discussed yesterday, I agree -- it's a really good record for sure. I dig it. They really ride a great line between great prog metal and getting too pompous. I like it.

Yeah, it's some quality material to be sure. I think your point about them striking that balance of very proggy while also not being too bombastic or pompous is where that Savatage influence really comes from with Witherfall. Their music certainly has a flair for the theatrical that was a huge part of Savatage's sound- as well as King Diamond imo.

Scanning through the album stream and I'm definitely impressed.  Wasn't initially sold on the singer until I heard him sing some higher notes.   :metal

I'll have to remember this once I have some money to buy music again, since household repairs are controlling my budget this month.

Speaking of the singer, Joseph Michael, apparently he's a distant relative of Ronnie James Dio! He says he only met him once and didn't really know him, but it's a cool connection just the same. :metal But yeah, to your main point, I think Michael's high notes are fantastic! He does a great job of striking the balance between soft and aggressive vocal melodies imo.

I pre-ordered the album on iTunes shortly after I heard the album for the first time... and I plan on getting the CD and maybe a t-shirt and/or poster later down the road when I can afford it. I've kinda fallen in love with this album. :rollin
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Offline Scorpion

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 09:27:04 AM »
I really dig this album. Thanks for the recommendation! I find that Jake Dreyer overshreds sometimes, but for the most part it's exactly what the song needs. I love the Spanish guitar touches in What We Are Dying For and the calmer bits on some of the songs are gorgeous.

On a tangentially related, they kind of remind me of Dark Empire. Their last album is one of my favourite prog metal albums and I'd recommend it to anybody who doesn't immediately turn off if there are some growls (very sparingly, and completely absent on some tracks). Example song: From Refuge to Ruin.
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Offline TAC

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2017, 07:24:18 AM »
First 2017 album purchased this year.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Samsara

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 08:44:54 AM »
First 2017 album purchased this year.

 :metal
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Offline Grappler

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 07:32:33 PM »
Also purchased! 

Not my first 2017 album purchase though (that goes to the new Kreator), but I am in the mood to discover bands that are new, or new to me.  Looking forward to listening to this disc in full sometime.

Offline TAC

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 07:35:02 PM »
I checked out the new Kreator. Not crazy about the vocals. I'll have to settle for the new Overkill I guess.
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Offline Grappler

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 09:12:20 PM »
I checked out the new Kreator. Not crazy about the vocals. I'll have to settle for the new Overkill I guess.

The pre-release songs from Overkill didn't do much for me, which is nuts, since their last 3 records have been absolutely slamming. 

Ran through the Witherfall disc once tonight.  It's actually pretty cool, though I had the volume lower to not wake up my daughter in the other room, since she sleeps on the other side of the wall from my computer.  I'll need some time to listen to the quieter parts, but I dug what I heard!

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 07:05:44 AM »
I'm undecided on this after one listen - will persist.    Plenty of cool vocal and guitar work - what I can't decide yet is whether it's just a complex bunch of progressive passages next to each other (the sort of prog I dislike) or whether there are definite songs that have an identity/structure that I can relate to.   I can't remember much after one listen.
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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 02:16:22 PM »
I really dig this album. Thanks for the recommendation! I find that Jake Dreyer overshreds sometimes, but for the most part it's exactly what the song needs. I love the Spanish guitar touches in What We Are Dying For and the calmer bits on some of the songs are gorgeous.

On a tangentially related, they kind of remind me of Dark Empire. Their last album is one of my favourite prog metal albums and I'd recommend it to anybody who doesn't immediately turn off if there are some growls (very sparingly, and completely absent on some tracks). Example song: From Refuge to Ruin.

Speaking of What We Are Dying For, Gear Gods just uploaded a video of Jake playing the whole song from start-to-finish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pALdy-MVwM

Gotta say, his Jackson King V looks gorgeous... :hefdaddy :hat
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Offline EVILPROGBOY

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Re: The WITHERFALL Thread - Savatage + Nevermore + Pink Floyd = Witherfall
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2017, 06:47:01 PM »
Lots of Classical influence in this music. Here is an interview translated for German Magazine ROCKHARD

https://witherfall.com/latest-news/blog/blog_categories/20958

Offline Mister Gold

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Lots of Classical influence in this music. Here is an interview translated for German Magazine ROCKHARD

https://witherfall.com/latest-news/blog/blog_categories/20958

That's a pretty great interview with Joseph and Jake! :metal

The band is actually doing a poll right now to vote on which song off the album they'll make their first music video around. I voted for Nobody Sleeps Here personally (aside from being my favorite track off the album, I think it's the one that best compliments the music video format lyrically), but last I checked, End of Time was leading the poll.

https://witherfall.com/home/blog/witherfall-music-video-song-poll
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Offline 0u81234

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I voted for "End of Time". This is due to the fact that I did not enjoy the lyric video and want to see the full thing done in all parts 1-3. Nobody would be amazing as well to see as a real well shot music video.

have you guys seen the video of "What We are Dying For" with Gergo Borali on drums: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1416066115122999&id=196199683776321

Don't know if he is the new guy they have in place of the drummer (Adam) who died... everything  I read from Witherfall including interviews is very elusive but this guy is killer, he is very Mike Portnoy esque. From his bio it says he played with Al di Meola. I hope they tour with the lineup of Anthony. (You can't hear his bass but check out the videos of him playing these songs in the studio.) Jake and Joseph of course and Gergo that would be an amazing show.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 04:06:33 AM by 0u81234 »

Offline Mister Gold

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I voted for "End of Time". This is due to the fact that I did not enjoy the lyric video and want to see the full thing done in all parts 1-3. Nobody would be amazing as well to see as a real well shot music video.

have you guys seen the video of "What We are Dying For" with Gergo Borali on drums: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1416066115122999&id=196199683776321

Don't know if he is the new guy they have in place of the drummer (Adam) who died... everything  I read from Witherfall including interviews is very elusive but this guy is killer, he is very Mike Portnoy esque. From his bio it says he played with Al di Meola. I hope they tour with the lineup of Anthony. (You can't hear his bass but check out the videos of him playing these songs in the studio.) Jake and Joseph of course and Gergo that would be an amazing show.

I did see the video with Gergo playing "What We Are Dying For"! Been watching it a lot in my free time, actually. I loved Adam Sagan's drumming on the album, but I kinda think Gergo's rendition was a bit more impressive. There some subtle differences with his version that I really dug, while also keeping true to the spirit of Sagan's original work.

From the sound of things, Anthony Crawford is definitely the band's bassist officially at this point. No clue yet if Gergo is the band's new drummer, but I really hope he is.
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Offline Samsara

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Love this record. I still have the advance, need to go actually pick it up. Last time I looked on Amazon, it wasn't available as a CD. Will re-check.
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Offline Mister Gold

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Love this record. I still have the advance, need to go actually pick it up. Last time I looked on Amazon, it wasn't available as a CD. Will re-check.

I'm pretty sure you have to order the CD on Witherfall's own website, since they aren't attached to any record label and instead released their album independently. Not entirely sure though.

I've only gotten the album on iTunes so far because of that, but I'm planning on buying a CD copy and a T-shirt sometime soon too.
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Offline Grappler

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I listen to the album at least once a week.  It's nice to have a band with a sound reminiscent of Nevermore that isn't named Sanctuary. 

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I just picked up the disc on cdbaby.com.

I also listen to it weekly. Great stuff.
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Offline Mister Gold

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Yeah, I've been listening to it a lot too. Can't really help but be a bit addicted to the band at this point. Their sound is sorta like my dream vision of the sort of band I'd want to hear. :blush

I do hope we get official news on whoever their new drummer is gonna be sometime soon. I'd love for it to be Gergo Borlai, since he did such a great job with his rendition of "What We Are Dying For" and apparently hit it off really well with the rest of the band when he met them.
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Offline Samsara

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Yeah, I've been listening to it a lot too. Can't really help but be a bit addicted to the band at this point. Their sound is sorta like my dream vision of the sort of band I'd want to hear. :blush

I do hope we get official news on whoever their new drummer is gonna be sometime soon. I'd love for it to be Gergo Borlai, since he did such a great job with his rendition of "What We Are Dying For" and apparently hit it off really well with the rest of the band when he met them.

I didn't listen to him playing, but saw that he did. We'll see. The thing with Witherfall is I expect them to only be a project band. Something akin to Shadow Gallery, where they rarely play live, but do records. With Jake in Iced Earth, which tours heavily, he simply is not going to be available.

Perhaps if Jon did Jake a solid, and allowed Witherfall to open, Jake could do double duty, but that's the only way I see them touring viably at all...
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Offline Mister Gold

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Yeah, I've been listening to it a lot too. Can't really help but be a bit addicted to the band at this point. Their sound is sorta like my dream vision of the sort of band I'd want to hear. :blush

I do hope we get official news on whoever their new drummer is gonna be sometime soon. I'd love for it to be Gergo Borlai, since he did such a great job with his rendition of "What We Are Dying For" and apparently hit it off really well with the rest of the band when he met them.

I didn't listen to him playing, but saw that he did. We'll see. The thing with Witherfall is I expect them to only be a project band. Something akin to Shadow Gallery, where they rarely play live, but do records. With Jake in Iced Earth, which tours heavily, he simply is not going to be available.

Perhaps if Jon did Jake a solid, and allowed Witherfall to open, Jake could do double duty, but that's the only way I see them touring viably at all...


Jake and Joseph have mentioned in an interview or two that they fully intend for Witherfall to develop into a viable touring band, starting off with basic opening act gigs and working their way up from there. Frankly, I don't think Iced Earth will be that big of a hinderance for them, for two reasons:

1. Iced Earth is notorious for its ever-changing lineup. While I love that Jake is there in that band, I'll be stunned if he sticks around long term.
2. Iced Earth is also getting up there in age. It's kinda like Queensryche in that I'm not really sure how many years it has left in the tank.

However the idea of Jake getting double duty and playing a short Witherfall set to open for Iced Earth's main show would be a good way for the band to kick off its live act. We'll see what happens though.
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Offline Grappler

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Jake and Joseph have mentioned in an interview or two that they fully intend for Witherfall to develop into a viable touring band, starting off with basic opening act gigs and working their way up from there. Frankly, I don't think Iced Earth will be that big of a hinderance for them, for two reasons:

1. Iced Earth is notorious for its ever-changing lineup. While I love that Jake is there in that band, I'll be stunned if he sticks around long term.
2. Iced Earth is also getting up there in age. It's kinda like Queensryche in that I'm not really sure how many years it has left in the tank.


The second point has some merit, though it could be that Jon just scales the band back into a studio band with limited live dates.  He seems to be truly committed to the band as of the last 6 years, and the band's income is mainly generated from touring relentlessly, so I don't see that happening soon.

As far as lineup changes, the last few members that have left (Freddie Vidales, Troy Seele, Matt Barlow, Brent's on/off time) come from real-life getting in the way of the band.  Those guys are older than Jake and all had more important commitments in their day jobs, careers and families, that had to take precedence.  The band has had a pretty stable lineup for a decade, with very little of the typical "Jon is tough to work for" blowups coming from ex-members.  Jake is younger, and if he's committed to the music industry and touring as much as the band needs, then he'll probably stick around for a good handful of years, if not longer.  Troy was in the band for 9-10 years straight as the second guitarist.

I'd love to see them open for IE on their next tour.  That would be a really cool pairing.

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I'd love to see them open for IE on their next tour.  That would be a really cool pairing.

Just seems like a no brainer to me, as long as Jake can handle it, and Jon is OK with it.

I am glad Witherfall has plans to develop. They have a ton of potential. Opening for IE would be a great start. Hopefully it happens.
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Offline Mister Gold

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I'd love to see them open for IE on their next tour.  That would be a really cool pairing.

Just seems like a no brainer to me, as long as Jake can handle it, and Jon is OK with it.

I am glad Witherfall has plans to develop. They have a ton of potential. Opening for IE would be a great start. Hopefully it happens.

I'd certainly pay some good money to go see Witherfall and Iced Earth play a show together. :metal
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Offline EVILPROGBOY

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According to the interview they did with Germany Metal Magazine ROCKHARD they are working on new material.


https://www.witherfall.com/home/blog/jake-dreyer-joseph-michael-interview-with-rockhard-magazine-germany

Offline Mister Gold

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According to the interview they did with Germany Metal Magazine ROCKHARD they are working on new material.


https://www.witherfall.com/home/blog/jake-dreyer-joseph-michael-interview-with-rockhard-magazine-germany

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we get another Witherfall album in a year or two.

I'm just wondering when we'll get an announcement on who the new drummer will be. At this point, it seems pretty clear that Anthony Crawford is officially the band's bassist (which is awesome news imo).
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Offline 0u81234

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Witherfall already reminds me of Death. I have a feeling that Jake Dreyer and Joseph Michael are going to be the Chuck Schuldiner (' s) of the group and just recruit insane musicians to tour and record: IE Anthony Crawford and Gergo Borlai. 

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Witherfall already reminds me of Death. I have a feeling that Jake Dreyer and Joseph Michael are going to be the Chuck Schuldiner (' s) of the group and just recruit insane musicians to tour and record: IE Anthony Crawford and Gergo Borlai.

That's definitely a pretty good comparison, though I'd argue Witherfall bears more resemblance to Chuck's short-lived prog metal band, Control Denied, than Death itself.
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Watch the little ego floating in me.

Offline EVILPROGBOY

  • Posts: 26
I'm hearing an "Awake" era Dream Theater tone as well.