Songs for the Withering

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Songs for the Withering, Rapture's second album, is no huge departure from its first one, but it's still a more-than-solid take on the whole melancholy doom-death metal sound. Comparable in various ways to Paradise Lost, Opeth, Sentenced, and (above all) Katatonia, Rapture's songs here are built up around basic mid-tempo rock drumbeats, with harmonized guitar leads and alternately crooned and growled lead vocals defining the rest of the sound. There's nothing really fancy about this music, but the hooks are consistently strong and the band has an obvious flair in the atmosphere department (though this is partially undermined by what has become a standard sort of cold, digital-sounding metal production approach circa 2003). Co-lead vocalist Petri Eskelinen's understated, clean singing is another strong point. All in all, this is a mostly tasteful and above-average album that fans of chilly, Scandinavian-bred melodic death metal will likely enjoy.

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