Withem - The Point of You

Withem The Point of You cover
The Point of You
Sensory Records
It seems that Norway has entered the prog metal game with several newcomers lately; newcomers that can offer something good to the listener eventually. It is not that there haven’t been big names from the Norwegian prog metal scene in the last decade (i.e. Conception) which have actually left a great legacy to the novices, but it’s true that Norway is far more known for its “extreme metal” scene.
Anyhow, Withem is a Norwegian newcomer (they started in 2011) which leans more towards prog metal music yet I think there’s more than that. Withem’s music is melodic, heavy, atmospheric, powerful, metal but also progressive, mostly on the song arrangements. They do not go for long (boring) tracks but they generally focus on the essence of progressive music. Influenced (mainly) by acts like: Circus Maximus, Pagan’s Mind, Symphony X, Conception & Vanden Plas, Withem are also into heavy/power metal, symphonic metal (a bit) & melodic metal every so often. Ole Aleksander Wagenius’ wonderful voice verifies the fact that indeed Norway has some of the most significant voices in metal music at large. All the performances are great on the album, but it’s obvious that when you have a gifted vocalist you should give him a more major role and build upon his voice. That’s exactly what the guys have done here. The band got a helping hand on the bass by the bass-player Andreas Blomqvist of Seventh Wonder, who played the bass on the album. Also the punchy, heavy and rich production adds extra points to the final outcome. Having in mind that the album was produced & mixed by guitarist Oyvind Voldmo Larsen at his own Lionheart Studio, it shows that this band had a certain vision about its sound and knows precisely how to deliver it. I was expecting to see a renowned producer behind the mixing desk but that was one additional reason so as to appreciate Withem’s music aptitudes yet more. Additionally, the CD was mastered by Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, Saga, Spock’s Beard, Mob Rules, Red Circuit etc.) at Bazement Studio.
“The Point of You” may be the band’s debut album but it is like I’m listening to a band that has been playing together for many years. It’s very tight, well-run and well-produced. This album will put Withem into the prog metal game right away and at a high place… thing which will cause envy and greed to all those bands that are trying to do so for quite some years now. Withem has the whole package to compete on the Premier League along with the major names of the genre. After such a splendid debut album what’s next, one may think huh?! Let’s hope that Withem will answer to that question through their music over the years. By and large, “The Point of You” can easily be placed among the top melodic heavy/power prog metal releases for 2013… but do keep in mind that this is just the beginning…