Cloaked in mystery and shrouded in sadness, Deathwhite’s impressive and expressive debut ushers in a new voice in melodic gothic metal. Just like life itself, everything about the band is left to be pondered over coffee or tea. Comprised of a collective of musicians likely (or so internet sleuths seem to think) from the eastern US, Deathwhite’s style offers up a rather inspired take on European gloomy doom/rock. Think Katatonia, Impure Wilhemina, and My Dying Bride with a liberal dose of American art rock (A Perfect Circle and Tool, notably).
It’s an album that is compelling and captivating from the onset. Despite being weighed down by rather bleak lyrics, For a Black Tomorrow is quite the lively listen. Vocalist Whoever is quite the crooner, but he hits some surprisingly emotive hair-raising highs, notably in the latter half of “Eden”. Instrumentally, every one (however many that is) do their job admirably. The bass is warm and actually audible, while the kit work is especially dexterous and active. The guitar work spans a great range, between more triumphant (but still despondent) death/doom moments, to rumbling hard rock, to parts that wouldn’t be out of place in an Alter Bridge song (I mean that in a good way). Deathwhite’s aims are clearly on crafty intricate and intimate hooky music, and no matter how dark the album gets, there’s an alluring melodicism that ensures that the songs remain with you.
“Dreaming the Inverse” and “Death and the Master” hit every aspect of the band’s sound at its best, and though the record does falter its way to the end (“Prison of Thought” and the title track are easily the record’s “weakest” moments), For a Black Tomorrow is an wonderful artistic statement. The marrying of European and American influences results in a record that captures your attention immediately, but Deathwhite’s songwriting is intricate enough to reward careful and repeated attention.