Witherfall is a dark melodic metal band from Los Angeles. With this new EP entitled “Vintage,” they draw inspiration from 1990’s MTV and craft a mostly acoustic album. Sadly, “Vintage” does not fall into the wheelhouse of my musical taste. However, with that being said Witherfall and their music definitely have an audience as the band members are amazingly talented musicians.
Lead vocalist Joseph Michael, who also plays keyboard (along with Alex Nasla) and shares guitar duties, is definitely a talent to be reckoned with. His vocals are a cross between Geoff Tate of Queensryche and the late, great Ronnie James Dio. The Spanish-influenced guitar riffs are masterfully woven throughout the Witherfall EP as Joseph Michael and guitarist Jake Dreyer bring each song to life. Bassist Anthony Crawford and drummer Gergo Borlai round out the band. “Vintage” also includes James “Timbali” Cornwell on percussion (Cornwell is known for his sessions for acts such as Smokey Robinson.)
Listening to some of their non-acoustic music, I would have guessed Witherfall to be a slightly heavier version of Dream Theater. The harmonizing vocal work is outstanding and works well with the acoustic opera taking place.
Highlights that stood out are track four titled “The Long Walk Home” and track seven simply titled “Vintage.” I am a sucker for some great guitar playing. The track that is a swing-and-a-miss for me is the cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” It’s as though they took an excerpt of the song and just played it over and over for four minutes.
“Vintage” is an acoustically driven ode to heartbreak album that can easily be slotted along with the better bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s. If you are a fan of bands that mix keys in with blistering guitars be sure to check out their other albums “Nocturnes and Requiems” and “A Prelude to Sorrow.” If you love excellent musicianship played acoustically; then, by all means, you need to give “Vintage” a listen. Witherfall will be sure not to disappoint!