Witherfall’s existence as a band has been short but eventful, with two records in the last couple of years, dedicated and inspired by the death of original drummer Adam Paul Sagan in 2016.
‘A Prelude to Sorrow’ follows ‘Nocturnes and Requiems’, with the band now part of Century Media’s roster and its fame rising thanks to guitarist Jake Dreyer being a part of Iced Earth’s current line-up and singer Joseph Michael being chosen to front Sanctuary during their last tour, right after Warrel Dane’s passing. Sanctuary were supporting Iced Earth on that run, which certainly led to Michael’s name being on the table.
The two of them, Dreyer and Michael, are Witherfall’s main songwriters. Here, they deliver a pretty ambitious, melodic prog/power record, with Michael having the range to deliver the goods both during the… Refuge Denied high pitch stuff and the quieter passages.
The album has good moments, mostly when the tone gets dark and brooding; Witherfall manage to convey the personal and real character that their material aims to exude. In terms of compositions, I would say they don’t yet have the experience to pull off two 11-minute songs on the same record, as is the case with ‘A Prelude to Sorrow’, but, if all goes well, their future looks promising.