Dan Swanö. The man. The myth. The machine. The dude’s got more bands, projects, one-offs, production credits, and engineering nods than anyone in the so-called ‘biz.’ Well, he’s returned, with buddy and guitarist extraordinaire Ragnar Widerberg in tow, on new outfit Witherscape. Those in the Swanö Swanclub have known about Witherscape for a day or two, but the rest of the scenerati need to know the guy who helped kick off Opeth and Katatonia’s careers, as well as co-write some of the best alt-death metal of all time (let’s hear it for Unorthodox and Crimson, right?) is back to writing music and blowing brainal matter.
Witherscape, in some respects, could be seen as a combo of Edge of Sanity’s “poppier” moments and Nightingale’s story-bound songwriting. That Swanö growls is quite awesome, too. He’s got one of the best voices in death metal. But he’s also unveiling a new “voice,” something he likens to the great late Ronnie James Dio. With three voices rocking our argyle socks off and Widerberg riffing and soloing like he’s the next guitarist in Soilwork’s upcoming (but totally fake) project honoring Phil Collins’ early ’80s work, Witherscape is certain to impress the non-jaded and non-snooty fuckers.
How the song came together, well, it’s another one of those Dan Swanö moments, where he writes a song in a single, quickened session. Not unlike the three songs he banged out for Steel in like 15 minutes.
Here’s what the Swanman has to say about “Dead for A Day”: “‘Dead For A Day’ is one of those songs that just wrote itself. I was strumming on the acoustic guitar one morning and it just poured out of my fingers. At first, I had no idea what to do with the song since I felt it was perhaps a bit too commercial for Witherscape, but after I played the demo to Ragnar he insisted that it must be on the album! I love how the song moves between the mellow verses à la Crimson I and II to the more brutal, yet melodic chorus, in the tradition of ‘Uncreation’ and ‘Twilight’ through the groovy but ‘undanceable’ 9/8 section that leads to one of Ragnar’s best guitar leads of the album.”
** Witherscape’s new album, The Inheritance, is out August 6th on Century Media. Order it HERE with a t-shirt or HERE without a t-shirt. If you fail in your quest to get some new Swanö, we’ll have Lou Reed read Diabolique’s “Butterflies” lyrics. If you’re wondering what Witherscape and Diabolique have in common, well, Kristian Wåhlin used to front Diabolique and he’s also known as Necrolord, aka the guy who created covers for Witchery, Dissection, and, uh, Emperor. As for Lou Reed, fuck him!