Big things coming from one of melo-death’s great unsung heroes, the Danish entity known as Withering Surface, who have a killer new album coming out on June 7th via Mighty Music. If you’ve never heard these guys, imagine mid-90s Dark Tranquillity, old In Flames, a touch of modern Amorphis, and top all that off with some progressive Edge Of Sanity songwriting, and you have albums like ‘Walking On Phantom Ice’ and ‘Meet Your Maker’ in a nutshell. ‘Exit Plan’, their 6th album overall, is a little denser, but no less powerful for it.

The process of making this album was long and challenging with various recording sessions, line-up changes, producers and on top of that all the obstacles with Covid and post-Covid. The fact that the band’s engagements with Copenhell and various other festivals in 2020 were postponed two years to 2022 could easily have killed a band that was making a comeback after 15 years in slumber. Instead, all efforts were put into the making of ‘Exit Plan’. Topping this is the production by Soren Andersen (Medley Studio), mainly known in rock and hard rock circles for his work with artists like Thundermother, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Glenn Hughes. Soren Andersen was not the obvious choice of producer for a melodic death metal band but ended up being the perfect match for Withering Surface anno 2024 delivering a huge over-the-top sound. 

Allan Tvedebrink says “Right after we dropped ‘Meet Your Maker’ all our gigs and plans were scrapped because of the pandemic and it obviously created a huge void for us. I’m very proud of that album, but when it was finished, I felt that we could do better and, because of the wide open schedule, I immediately started working on ‘Exit Plan’. The new material is focused on a much more direct and intense approach and it is by far the strongest compilation of songs we have ever done to represent an album. In the process of creating the album we had lots of setbacks. Deciding to let our new drummer go after we recorded the drums, having a new guitarist on board and losing our keyboard player took some extra time, but also made us re-visit the material and get everything right. The challenges and the decisions made in the process definitely made the album way better”. 

Soren Andersen: “I was initially hired as the mixing engineer but I have ended up becoming a super fan. They are by far the most extreme band I have ever worked with. Musically I have no other bands to compare them with besides Faith No More and Soilwork. After a few mixes I totally fell in love with the sound of the band, and never before have I challenged myself as much as I have working upon this album. Combining brutal riffs, a powerhouse rhythm section, screaming vocals, melodic solos and imaginative songwriting, this is all I could ever ask for in a metal band”. 

Singer Michael Hvolgaard Andersen adds: “Vocal wise I wanted to go back to the roots of Withering Surface. Capturing some of the spirit from the frustrated 19-year old me. Songs on the new album like ‘Where Dreamers Die’ and ‘You Hurt This Child’ show that. I was not sure I still had that throat capacity and aggression in me but proved myself wrong. I always had the desire to make catchy sing-a-long choruses. In the past they were on songs like ‘Dancing With Faries’ and ‘Joyless Journey’. On ‘Exit Plan’ this desire is brought to life on ‘Denial Denial Denial’, ‘Finish What You Started’ and ‘I Finally Lost (All Faith In Humanity)’. Since the formation of Withering Surface, Allan’s songwriting felt natural for me to make vocal lines and melodies on and on ‘Exit Plan’ I truly believe he delivered his strongest material to date which by the end of the day is the reason that made my voice sound strong and have me deliver that little extra”. 

“Exit Plan” will be released on LP (black vinyl), CD and digital formats on June 7th, 2024 via Mighty Music. 

Photo by Jonas Hesselmark.

Watch the video for ‘Denial Denial Denial’ right here:

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