Friday, 3 October 2014

Earthship - Withered (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/9/2014
Label: Pelagic Records

‘Withered’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). Sanguine (2:35)
2). Serpent Cult (5:07)
3). The Garden (3:01)
4). Dead Faint (3:37)
5). Adrift (3:16)
6). Throne of Bones (3:40)
7). Vail of Gloom (3:29)
8). Lament of Torment (4:07)
9). Emerald Blades (3:41)
10). Withered (1:49)


EARTHSHIP was launched by former THE OCEAN drummer, Jan Oberg, in the Spring of 2010. Debut album Exit Edenwas a trip through the vast black sea of doom, metal and prog n'roll, released on Pelagic Records in early 2011. The band played their very first show supporting TORCHE in Berlin in December 2010, followed by a monsterous tour with THE OCEAN, RED FANG and INTRONAUT in 2011.

Shortly before the tour, bass player Gutschke literally disappeared from the map and was replaced by Jan's wife, Sabine, on bass guitar. 2012 finally saw the band shrink to a three-piece: THE OCEAN mainman Robin Staps, who had played with the band since the beginning, left the band due his commitments elsewhere

The Band:

Jan Oberg | Guitars, Vocals
Sabine Oberg | Bass
Florian Häuser | Drums
Marcel Schulz | Guitars


Having a notable name within a band, particularly when starting out, always helps to gather attention. So when ex The Ocean drummer Jan Oberg started up Earthship in 2010 people inevitably took notice, however it wasn’t long before metal fans were drawn in to their filthy grooves. Debut album ‘Exit Eden’ and follow up ‘Iron Chest’ put Earthship on the metal radar, along with tours with The Ocean, Red Fang and Intronaut, but it’s the vastly matured sound of latest release ‘Withered’ that presents Earthship in their finest form to date.

‘Withered’ finds a measured balance between being savagely heavy yet accessible, which can predominantly be put down to the clarity of the production. Each track is reasonably short and punchy, resulting in a furiously frantic 34 minutes of monstrous riffs and deep rumbling vocals.

‘Sanguine’ offers a dark, heavily bass driven opening to the album, immediately affirming the heavy side to their musical expression, whereas ‘Serpent Cult’ highlights their accessibility, through catchy riffs and the rare appearance of clean vocals. ‘Withered’ utilizes textured vocals, gritty guitars and fuzzy bass to create an immensely thick sound, yet amongst the grit and fuzz is clear distinction between the layers of noise. Noticeable injections of variety are evident in the album; ensuring boredom doesn’t set in at any point. ‘Throne of Bones’ is a prime example of this, reflecting the clear stoner rock influence that has been hinted at in other songs but most prevalent in this one.

Loud, heavy, aggressive, and topped off with huge riffs; ‘Withered’ encompasses all the components required for a solid sludge album. Whilst it’s not exactly 10/10 there is really nothing to dislike. It’s also an album that is sure to translate well live, and I’ll therefore be keeping my eyes peeled for UK tour dates. I suggest you do the same.

Words by: Heather Blewett

You can pick up a copy here

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