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Come To Wither

Massacre (2014)
Rating: 7.5/10

Come To Wither is the long-awaited sophomore effort from German quintet Vanish, and comes eight years after their 2006 full-length debut Separated From Today.

Vanish is fronted by vocalist Bastian Rose, who also plays piano and keyboards. Rose is joined by bassist Daniele Dei Giudici, drummer Ralf Nopper, and guitarists Thomas Rösch (rhythm) and Philipp Schönle (lead).

The album offers up 11 tracks which in total run a shade over an hour. Although I’m not overly familiar with their previous works, I think it’s best to describe Vanish as power metal; cold cutting percussion, driving riffs, flailing steely leads, injections of metallic melody and infectious structures all spear-headed by Bastian’s epic set of pipes which spew words straight from the heart.

‘Great Collapse’ just about sums up these guys, the combo providing a hardy network of powerhouse riffs, thunderous drums and those chest-pounding vocals which ascend above the metallic foray of stabbing bass and symphonic caress. Nope, it’s not that original in the scheme of things but it’s the sort of Euro metal spattered with Gothic progression that has kept fans of such melody happy for seemingly decades. Through every trend, European power metal of this ilk has remained potent, never once buckling under fads – and maybe it’s down to the simple fact that such metal is so stubborn that bands such as Vanish remain popular.

For me, there’s always been something a tad cheesy about some power metal bands. Thankfully, Vanish rarely wade into such murky waters of dodgy drama. Instead, they effortlessly combine strong, hearty fire metal with sprigs of joy; the result being bombastic expressions such as ‘Bless The Buried Child’ with its progressive meddling and the bass-led chug of ‘Renewal’ which borders on mid-paced thrash.

Of course, it’s all so easy to dismiss such grandiose statements and curse it forever more for being so bloody metal. But even with its rather cold, disconnected cover art and icy nature, Come To Wither is still a classy, glossy hunk of ballsy metal that hints at Dio fused with just about every German slab of similar-sounding metal. Yet I can’t help but drown in the freezing waters of the epic ‘Curtain Call’ with its sprawling lay-out of gargantuan passages, and which fool dare discriminate against the raging tides of ‘Hollow’ which still of course cannot refrain from dampening down its own metal armour by injecting that symphonic water to rust the shell. Nevertheless, it’s all good serious power metal played straight and neat before the climax of ‘The Grand Design’ – featuring Ralf Scheepers (Primal Scream) on guest vocals – with its aching piano intro and eventual steely gallop.

Yep, it’s just power metal right down to the core and however much you want to cast it aside, just remember that such robust intentions were here long before you and I and will no doubt remain embedded in the psyche of this planet long after we’ve gone too.

Neil Arnold

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