Fans of sludgy, blackened Southern doom rejoice: Withered are back with a new record, Verloren, out June 18 via Season of Mist. And, like many other bands, they hoped to have the record out into the world sooner than this, but better late than never.
“There were some delays of our own volition, unfortunately, and we were kind of dragging ass on some of the writing,” admits bassist Rafay Nabeel. “A lot of that is just from being kind of nitpicky and peculiar about certain things, and that kind of comes with the territory, I suppose, especially when you’re crafting something as personal as this record.”
The initial plan was to hit the studio last February right after a European tour, but when everything shut down in the middle of March, they realized there wasn’t enough time to get it all recorded.
“Then March runed to April, and April turned into July and August, and we kind of realized that things are going to be pushed back a little more,” he adds. “But this actually worked in our favor because we didn’t have to cram to get the record done. COVID actually afforded us some time to go back over some things and rework some parts, and really, really flesh out the lyrics, and give some more time to the lyrics and vocals. So, it was kind of a little bit of a blessing. There’s a silver lining there.”
While the process allowed for more time to perfect the record, the concept had been with Nabeel for some time.
“When we first started writing this record a couple years ago, I had this very loose concept of ‘missing.’ I just kept getting fixated on the word ‘missing’ and started approaching themes and concepts from this angle. It could be people, or places, or things that are missing, but it could also be in an active sense, like I am missing something or someone. That kind of resonated with all of us, because we’ve all experienced some pretty tragic losses and things of that sort. So, the overall concept kind of turned into this idea of yearning and being forlorn, which ‘verloren’ actually translates to.”
Even though the record was started years ago, fitting for the themes on the album, the last of it was written last summer during lockdown. In this time of isolation, they made the final decisions about the record and prepared it to go out into the world.
In terms of what’s next, Withered are open to many ideas, including recording smaller releases and splits with friends, and they are sitting on enough material to release another record in the near future, in some form or another. Look out for more musical and concert announcements coming soon.
Watch the video for “By Tooth In Tongue” here:
Photo courtesy of Withered and David Parham.