The Rapture Songs for the Withering

When a band’s debut album is as beautifully crafted as Rapture’s Futile, the creation of the next record can be nerve-wracking for both musicians and fans. With a change in guitarists and the addition of a second vocalist, Rapture could have jeopardised their essential magic; instead, that magic has transformed. While not as tightly woven as a whole, Songs for the Withering adds a new dimension to Rapture’s melancholy death metal, heard most clearly in the vocal melodies of Henri Villberg. The haunting sweetness of Villberg’s voice forms a more personal connection between listener and performer, a carefully balanced contrast to Petri Eskelinen’s growls. Beneath the vocals, Rapture maintains the melodic metal of their debut with just a hint more rock, now with a spaciousness that wasn’t there before. A licensing deal with Century Media is now providing well-deserved exposure in North America. Hopefully the world will soon catch on to Rapture’s special appeal. (Century Media)