Swedish melodic death metal, the so-called melo-death, got its breakthrough in the mid-1990s with especially bands from Gothenburg such as In Flames, At The Gates and Dark Tranquility. Withering Surface from Næstved, Denmark quickly captured the new special genre and since then marked the band as the most successful Danish melodic death metal band since its foundation in 1994 and until the band took a break in 2005. Four albums and additional EP / single / demo releases made it into the band’s career.
In 1996 Withering Surface signed a contract with Euphonious Records. The debut album “Scarlet Silhouettes”, recorded in Swedish Studio Fredman by Fredrik Nordström (known for Opeth, At The Gates, In Flames etc.), was released in 1997 with internationally acclaimed reviews and a Scandinavian tour with Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child followed.
The second album “The Nude Ballet” (Euphonious Records) was released in 1998. Also produced by Fredrik Nordström, also got great reviews and even a nomination as “Hard Rock Album of the Year” for the Danish Grammys and played a concert at Roskilde Festival the following year.
In 2001 “Walking On Phantom Ice” was released by English Copro Records. In the wake of this, Withering Surface appeared at German Wacken Open Air, and completed an UK tour with Arch Enemy and Opeth.
The latest “Force The Pace” was released in 2004 by Italian Scarlet Records, followed by European touring.
Withering Surface has played over 100 concerts over the years.
Now Withering Surface are back with a new album release and live activities including Copenhell and Metal Magic in the summer of 2020 as well as a Danish headliner tour booked in the Autumn of 2020 and a European tour in early 2021.
“Meet Your Maker” is the name of the album and consists of 9 brand new songs mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios. The songs draw inspiration from the band’s back catalogue all the way from the ’97 debut album “Scarlet Silhouettes” but also sound fresh and new while keeping the signature sound of the band. From classic melo-death songs with big choruses like the first single “Leaves In The Stream” to fast-paced aggression in the second single “Alone” spiced with the epic, proggy title song “Meet Your Maker” and the “ballad” “I’ll Soon Be Gone”, a duet between singer Michael H. Andersen and his 19 year old daughter Elizabeth Gorboi Andersen.
The line-up consists of the original members Allan Tvedebrink (guitar), Jakob Møller Gundel (drums) and Michael H. Andersen (vocals) – supplemented by Morten Lybecker, who played keyboard in the band in 1999-2005 and Marcel Lysgaard Lech, who played the guitar from 1998-2000 – as well as bassist Jesper Kvist (Invocator, Raunchy).
But why a reunion and why now? Guitarist Allan Tvedebrink explains: “I didn’t expect to suddenly sit down and do new Withering Surface songs in 2019. The first time the idea came up, I shook my head at it, but when it was defined who were on board, I had to admit I’d really enjoy playing with them again and it fit nicely in relation to where I was creatively and temporally in my life. So, I wrote a test song and it felt amazing! All of a sudden, we had ideas for several songs that everyone liked, and the reunion was a reality”. Allan has in recent years been a part of other bands like The Kandidate and Parasight.
Allan Tvedebrink has been a member of Withering Surface since the beginning in 1994 – so has drummer Jakob Gundel, who was only in the band until the second album “The Nude Ballet” from 1998 was released. Gundel has since made his living as a producer, a drum teacher and as drummer in Invocator and now defunct Black Book Lodge and Stella Blackrose. For Jakob Gundel, it is thus 20 years since he was a part of Withering Surface. Gundel says: “Withering Surface I had left behind many years ago. When I was suddenly asked to join again, I said maybe and when there were a handful of songs ready that I think were really cool, there was no doubt. If we weren’t supposed to create new music, I would have said no. I think the kind of reunions with only nostalgia and nothing new are irrelevant. But now Withering Surface is back as a far better version of itself than before, I think – both with inspiration from the very early material, but also things that point forward”.
The new album “Meet Your Maker” will be released internationally on the 19th June.
“Meet Your Maker” is partly recorded by Jakob Gundel and mixed by Jacob Hansen in Hansen Studios.
The artwork is made by Niklas Sundin, best known as guitarist in Dark Tranquility, who, in addition to his own band, also have made artwork for e.g. In Flames and Arch Enemy.
In short, this is stylish melodic death metal with an album that continues where Withering Surface left off and it seems like everything has been put into position for the band? But what is the difference from where Withering Surface left off in 2005?
“We have not suddenly become a modern band. We return with the classic Scandinavian metal sound we’ve always had the love for and represented”, Allan Tvedebrink elaborates.