California’s Witherfall has been on a hell of a ride. This stellar progressive-metal collective came into being when former members of White Wizzard, Jag Panzer, and Circle II Circle decided to do something interesting together. The resulting record, Nocturnes and Requiems, boasted music and songcraft some bands well into their third decade could never dream of making, and featured the skilled ear of Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris (Rob Zombie, Queensryche) at the mixing console, as well as artwork by Kristian Wåhlin (Emperor, King Diamond). And they did all this without the benefit of a record label. And that was just their debut album.
Now armed with support from Century Media, Witherfall has just released the ridiculously incredible A Prelude to Sorrow, a gut-wrenching homage to drummer Adam Sagan, who tragically died of cancer just months before the debut album’s release. Whereas Nocturnes and Requiems was a touching dedication to Sagan, A Prelude to Sorrow continues the group’s tribute to and celebration of their fallen brother. To wit, the album title, A Prelude to Sorrow, is derived from Sagan’s initials and the music was inspired and informed by the emotional turmoil primary songwriters Jake Dreyer (guitars) and Joseph Michael (vocals, keyboards) went through.
Written over a two-year span, A Prelude to Sorrow is Witherfall’s next magnum opus. Described as a continuation of Nocturnes and Requiems—with the opposite ends of Pantera and Queen thrown in for good measure—the group spared, as always, no expense. Dreyer and Michael spent ages writing and arranging. While early on it was apparent the duo had a unique writing chemistry, on A Prelude to Sorrow their strengths were magnified. When one starts a riff, the other finishes it. When a vocal melody hits home, the other supports it. And when a full song comes together, there’s no better moment for the twosome. Songs like “Moment of Silence,” “Ode to Despair,” and “Vintage” aren’t just the products of Witherfall’s long songwriting nights and infinite wells of creativity, they’re the engines of a new wave of heavy metal.
Both Jake and Joseph chatted for nearly an hour with Sonic Perspectives Texas Bureau Chief Gonzalo Pozo about their songwriting partnership, Jake‘s role in Iced Earth, Joseph‘s stint with Sanctuary after the death of Warrel Dane, and some Adam Sagan shenanigans that must be heard to be believed. As usual check out their conversation in the video below, or subscribe to our Podcast in several platforms to listen and be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on daily basis.