The Point Of You

SKU: SR3068
Label:
Sensory Records
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Withem is an up and coming Norwegian progressive metal band, inspired by the likes of Symphony X, Pagan’s Mind, Dream Theater and Circus Maximus.

The band started to take shape in 2011 when Øyvind Voldmo Larsen (guitars) and Ketil Ronold (keyboards) met the gifted drummer Frank Nordeng Røe. Soon they were joined by the vocal talents of Ole Aleksander Wagenius and bass duties were taken care of by the special guest Andreas Blomqvist from Seventh Wonder.

Withem’s debut offers varied sonic landscapes for the listener to explore, ranging from guilty-pleasure choruses permeated with memorable vocal hooks, to symphonic epic themes.  The unique vocal range of Ole Aleksander Wagenius gives the band a distinctive touch to tackle the overcrowded progressive metal scene.

The passion and dedication put into the album is emphasized by the countless hours spent in studio perfecting each individual performance and making sure that the end result is a world class blend of progressive, symphonic and power metal.

The Point Of You was mastered by Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, Saga, Spock's Beard)

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    $14.00
  • "TEMPERANCE from Italy, I had no idea who they were. Steinmetal rose to the challenge to make me open up my mind, and I am continually grateful for it. I initially felt Deja Vu, postulating that the band from Sweden had reformed. As it turns out these masters of self-control are a classy Female Fronted act comprised of seasoned musicians who have composed a myriad of delightful songs which should appeal to any fan who enjoys the soprano siren sound.I do not have too much information on individual band members, but let us assume that Marco is the one who provides the clean and harsh dual vocals. He has quite a range when he truly sings as evidenced on the closer “Relentlessly” or “Stronger” - a beautiful ballad or lullaby elevated by the lullacry of Chiara. As I mentioned there are many aspects of the Metal milieu made present. You have the “Beauty And The Beast” approach with tracks like the heavier opener “Tell Me” or “To Be With You” evoking the precedent established by NIGHTWISH, EPICA, AFTER FOREVER, THEATRE OF TRAGEDY and perpetuated by LEAVES' EYES. There are also plenty of poppy and commercial hits like “Heaven's Above”, “Hero”, “Scared And Alone”, “Lotus” and the like, all in the vein of  HALESTORM or AMARANTHE, but with just enough power and promise to also please fans who support AMBERIAN DAWN, DAWN OF DESTINY,  EDENBRIDGE, etc.Chiara's cadence is quite impressive, with a strong or impassioned enunciation and crystal clarity. Her intonations often remind me of the late Pay Lee – the soul that never dies – from Taiwan's SERAPHIM who passed in 2011. Clearly she emulates Sharon Den Adel from WITHIN TEMPTATION, as well as mirroring the magnitude of Floor Jansen. When the harsh vocals are added for effect I am reminded of Japan's BLOOD STAIN CHILD or Cleveland's soulless CELLBOUND but also the early days of the enchanting Kari Rueslåtten from Norway's own THE THIRD AND THE MORTAL. I dare you to dance to the keyboard characterized motion spray of the “Fourth Season” and see if you do not agree.Power Metal fans that relentlessly support the likes of Lady DORO, BATTLE BEAST, EDGE OF ATTACK, SINERGY, etc. will also be captivated by the lotus like mellifluous melodies of well-crafted musicianship which have plenty of orchestration, as well as modern production. The delightful ”Deja Vù” is a mesmerizing epitome' of this.So breathe in the sweet rhythms, the mellisonant merriment, the bon mot motivated lyrical suggestions, the passion, and the pleasant pageantry. Heavens above! This self-titled release is much stronger than I had anticipated." - Metal Temple
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  • Gorgeous doomy Floydian metal. Super jewelbox reissue.
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  • "I have the deepest respect for axeman Pier Gonella (NECRODEATH / ODYSSEA / ATHLANTIS / ex LABYRINTH) & bassist Steve Vawamas (ex SHADOWS OF STEEL / ATHLANTIS ), two reputed veterans from the Italian Power Metal scene, those guys are talented but they are owners of a true fighting spirit, not only they are very skilled but they hold a real honesty and above all a true constancy even a certain stubbornness, working hard in their own way in order to share their vision and live their dreams!For their fifth opus, they once again offer their trademark sound, a guitar driven Melodic Power Metal “Naked” with a strong Neo-Classical flavor in the shredding solos (the most obviously in the closing instrumental “Coming Bach”, a new found emphasis on epic melodies without being too pompous, a prestigious guest on keyboards is Mister Andrea De Paoli LABYRINTH / ex VISION DIVINE, a great addition to the recording line-up, as he added some great textures layers and a whole new ambient vibe "Straight To The Bone".I always had some reservations concerning the vocals delivery of Miss Giorgia Gueglio, I always felt it could have been more powerful and I really miss an edge or a more aggressive temperament and this time particularly as the music seems in an Heaviest stage, I had really hope for a more biting result, it reveals a gap between the dynamic method of the razor sharp guitars and the much too angelic voice, maybe it's a conscious contrast, this aspect is my only reproach !The lyrical side is inspired by a story about the control of the subversives minds, rebel idea and the different meanings and historic views of the censorship, clearly a demanding concept. After four critically acclaimed albums published under the L. Mattsson’s Lion Records brand, the band was picked up by Italian leading label Scarlet Records, the sound of this new album is worthy the band reputation giving a run for their money to the band detractors." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!This is the Blu-ray edition.  In addition to the surround and hi-res stereo mix you get a 23 minute documentary and a bonus track.
    $16.00
  • "Described as “the Enya of heavy metal” and a Celtic vocal goddess, Leah’s brand new EP will certainly make waves with fans of acts like Nightwish or Leave’s Eyes. The beautiful siren has a voice that is unmistakably brilliant, showing off right from the start on piano-laden ballad “Shores Of Your Lies.” But for those of you who might be under the assumption that this is just going to be a light-hearted affair with no sign of guitars, drums or other metal elements, you are quite wrong. “The Northern Edge” sounds exactly like what would happen if you threw Enya right into the middle of a sprawling metal band, blast beats included. I don’t know about you, but I’m already impressed with this one. “Surrounded” is a bit lighter, but still showcases Leah’s vibrant vocal chords and some slick guitar playing to boot. I think that other female vocal artists are going to have a healthy amount of competition in this woman, who once again proves her prowess with “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.” But finally, there’s the album closer “Dreamland,” which features none other than Eric Peterson (Testament, Dragonlord) on vocals. With his black metal approach (and a so/so clean vocal that doesn’t work for the piece) providing a great balance of dark and light, along with thundering guitar riffs – this track definitely sets the stage for a welcomed heavier side of Leah. Maybe not everyone will understand it, but even if you don’t, you can’t deny that the other four tracks on this EP are quit magnificent. Out of the many female vocal pipes that I’ve heard in the metal and rock genres, Leah is a force to be reckoned with. Metal has never been more majestic." - New Noise
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  • Hard rock rarity from the German underground getting an official vinyl reissue.  Dull Knife recorded this one album for Philips in 1971.  It gets overlooked a bit by prog collectors because of the harder edged aspects of the music.  While there are some prog moves in the same way that Deep Purple and Uriah Heep made some, these guys were a product of their times.  Killer grinding organ and slashing guitar leads abound.  Highly recommended.
    $27.00
  • "The partnership between Magnum guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley is now well into its fourth decade and yet like a fine vintage wine it grows ever more appealing with age. More than thirty years since their debut Kingdom of Madness was given a rave review by Sounds Geoff Barton who compared them at the time to Starcastle, Yes, Kansas and Queen, Magnum remain a band to be cherished. Whilst those comparisons were justified in the beginning, across albums such as The Eleventh Hour, On A Storytellers Night and Wings of Heaven Magnum developed a style that was uniquely their own as they became one of the UK's most enduring bands with stirring anthems, melodic rockers and power ballads in abundance. After a hiatus during the latter half of the 90's that saw Clarkin and Catley diversify with Hard Rain (or Magnum-lite as it could have been described) the pair brought Magnum out of hibernation with the uncertain Breath of Life in 2002 that was followed by the much improved Brand New Morning two years later. But even this paled when compared with the majestic return that was 2007's Princess Alice and The Broken Arrow and this rich vein of form is carried through into this relatively brisk follow-up, the wonderfully titled Into The Valley Of The Moonking. Ever since the Jeff Glixman - produced Chase The Dragon in 1982 Magnum's artwork has been an important element of the overall package and Moonking is no exception, once again provided by the exquisite touch of fantasy artist Rodney Matthews who has been so effective over the years in bringing Clarkin's initial ideas to life. With Matthews involvement it simply feels like a Magnum album before you have even taken the CD out of the box.The opening 'Intro' is precisely that; Mark Stanway's keyboards conjuring up a windswept landscape that sets the scene for what is to come and segues into the mid tempo 'Cry To Yourself' and whilst it lacks the immediate impact of some of the later tracks it proves to be a solid enough opener. Tony Clarkin's songwriting is nothing short of amazing as he once again delivers lyrics that are truly inspirational, the careworn ballad 'A Face In The Crowd' being a perfect example. Clarkin's lyrics have often dealt with self-belief and perseverance in the face of struggle and adversity ('The Spirit', 'When The World Comes Down', 'Desperate Times') and 'A Face In The Crowd' is another worthy addition to the list. Another theme often revisited has been the futility of conflict and the dramatic 'No-one Knows His Name' joins a canon that includes 'Les Morts Dansent', 'Don't Wake The Lion' and 'The Flood' in remembering those who have been lost on the battlefield. Catley's voice aches with emotion on the stirring 'If I Ever Lose My Mind' although this is hardly a surprise as he never sounds anything less than immaculate.Away from the anthems, 'Take Me To The Edge' and the urgent 'Feels Like Treason' find the band cranking it up a gear and varying the pace with two quality hard rockers. The (near) title track is where Clarkin brings out his blues guitar and combines it with Magnum's grandiose style to blow away the cobwebs whilst the fantasy imagery of the lyric perfectly complements the cover art. Magnum's albums have often closed with sweeping epics and this proves no exception with 'Blood On Your Barbed Wire Thorns' starting like a gritty, up-tempo rocker (with some delicate piano embellishments from Stanway) before taking an altogether different direction around the four minute mark with an instrumental passage that becomes a showcase for an evocative Clarkin solo before Stanway plays the song out. The songwriting and musicianship are exceptional throughout and I don't expect to hear a better album this year so a five star rating is more than justified.Out of the valley of the Moonking Magnum have emerged triumphant. Long may they continue." - Sea Of TranquilityThis is the deluxe edition that comes with a bonus DVD featuring an interview as well as live footage of performances from '92 and '85.
    $18.00
  • English vocal version of the third album from this fine Hungarian progressive metal band. Age Of Nemesis (formerly just known as Nemesis) are heavily influenced by Dream Theater, Rush and 70s old school progressive rock. Zoltan Fabian's guitarwork has a wonderful fluid quality that really soars but he adds a good bit of crunch that recals John Petrucci. Vocalist Zoltan Kiss has a great voice that complements the band well. Curiously he displays a more prominent accent than on past efforts but it's not really a distraction. Anyone familiar with their past releases will be extremely satisfied with Terra Incognita as it fits comfortably within the canon. So don't expect any surprises - just some great melodic progressive metal with an emphasis on the progressive side. Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • 130 minute DVD packed with great live set as well as all kinds of bonus material. 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is reported to be awesome (I don't have a surround setup so I can't confirm).
    $16.00
  • "It only seems like a couple of weeks since Caravan announced in August 2013 that they were to record a new album that would be financed by money pledged by fans, and yet here it is already!What should have been a joyous time for the band and fans alike was sadly marred by the death of long-time drummer Richard Coughlan on December , however it is fitting that the digital download of the album was released to fans who had pledged on December 20, the day of Richard’s funeral!Musically this has classic Caravan stamped all over it. It is not, however, a hark back to the halcyon days of the 70′s and In the Land of Grey and Pink or For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, there are not anywhere near as many long instrumental sections in there for a start and the longest song I’ll Be There For You clocks in at a mere 6:14. What we do have here is a stripped down, and updated 2013 version of everything that Caravan fans look for. The classic songwriting is there, as is the excellent musicianship and whimsical lyrics, and let’s face it, with that instantly recognisable, trademark voice, Pye Hastings could re-record Never Mind The Bollocks and it would probably still sound like Caravan.All This Could Be Yours is a belter of an opener, and despite what I said above, this is one track that would not have been out of place on Grey and Pink or Girls Who Grow Plump! With an excellent, albeit short, viola solo from Geoffrey Richardson, and a great hook in the chorus, it skips along merrily in classic Caravan style.One of the ways of financing the album was to get people to pledge extra to go to the studio and get involved in the recording, I don’t want to pour cold water on anything but sadly I think this is where the band have shot themselves ever so slightly in the foot. Despite being a great song, I’m On My Way, has some awful, flat backing vocals in the chorus which almost ruin the song. The same applies to This Is What We Are where a slightly naff chorus comes close to ruining what is otherwise a very strong song, being slightly heavier than we are used to from Caravan including an infectious piano motif and an excellent, soaring guitar solo towards the end.The slower Dead Man Walking is the perfect pacer, leading into the very emotive Farewell My Old Friend. As an ode to the passing of a close friend, this song is made all the more poignant following the death of Richard Coughlan and brings a lump to the throat!In typical Caravan style, no-one is allowed to get too maudlin, as the next two songs Pain in the Arse with the vitriolic closing line ‘I don’t care if you sue me now, you are insane’, and Trust Me I Am A Doctor put the collective tongues firmly back in the cheek. Doctor takes an irreverent stab at a GP, who I’m quite sure, given the amount of names dropped in the song is a real person and should have no difficulty in identifying himself! But it is all done in good fun and I’m sure no umbrage will be taken!The album finishes on a mellow note with the wistful I’ll Be There For You and the title song Paradise Filter which kicks off  really slow and  melancholy with a late night jazz feel, before breaking out into a middle section that is very reminiscent of the instrumental break in The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again!Overall this is an excellent return for a band that has been absent from the recording studio for too long (it is ten years since the release of The Unauthorised Breakfast Item in 2003). Not that they have been resting on their laurels as they have still been playing live gigs, but it is nice to know that they can still cut it and write well crafted, catchy and extremely listenable songs.It also proves that the pledging route is a very viable way of financing studio time and album releases, sadly, however, I doubt very much that would work for new bands as you would have to have a name for yourself in order to create the initial interest. Maybe extensive gigging and as the old saying goes ‘paying your dues’ would help. Now there’s an idea (take note potential XFactor and The Voice contestants)!" - jonb52
    $20.00
  • "I’ve been waiting for the release of “Endgame” for some time now, this is honestly the first time I have been excited about a Megadeth album in years and this is due partially to the hiring of the incredible Chris Broderick, but mainly due to Dave Mustaine’s change of attitude toward the writing process with the album. Dave has been quite open during the recording process regularly updating his fans on the Megadeth forums and his latest venture TheLiveLine where he has been posting audio messages. I’m not sure if this was a conscious effort to restore some respect but it seems to have worked, there has been a lot of praise for Mustaine and the new Megadeth lineup over the last few months and has helped elevate not only Megadeth’s public profile but apparently Dave Mustaine’s songwriting abilities back to a level we haven’t experienced for some time. Before I go any further I want to point out that I have managed to avoid reading any reviews of this album as I wanted to approach Endgame without any kind of outside influence before writing about it.Dave Mustaine has always made good choices when it comes to hiring new talent and although he is probably sick of hearing it the appointment of Chris Broderick was the most exciting news since Marty Friedman joined the band. Don’t get me wrong though, Chris certainly won’t be taking all the glory, Dave’s brutal rhythm playing is as crisp and perfectly timed as ever. There is a lot of texture on this album such as the excellent “44 Minutes” with its machine gun verse riffs and layered guitar melodies over the chorus and trademark Megadeth solo trading. The outro on this track has some jaw droppingly terrifying playing from Chris Broderick.The first track on Endgame is an instrumental which I was surprised about but it is almost like Dave is saying, check out how awesome my band are! It is a great double-bass pedal thumping track with solos galore, a nice way to introduce Chris as the new Mega-Shredder™.“1,320” is another classic sounding Megadeth song, the lyrics are a bit cheesy (is it about drag racing?) but the riffs are brutal, the solos are harmonised, Dave sounds angry and the ending is double-time, always a winner!Other highlights including the chugging rhythms of “Bodies“, the fierce audio assualt that is “Head Crusher” which was released as a teaser track a while back. This was a great marketing idea to get people interested because it is probably the most “Thrash” sounding track on the album with “Holy Wars…” kind of punch you in the face riff except with much bigger and better sounding production.The production on this album is up there with United Abominations (which takes some beating) for quality. Everything has a lot more space compared to United Abominations, although I did like the in-your-face dry guitar sounds on that album, the reverb on Endgame does push the solos into the background a little more.The only part of this album that I don’t like is the ballad “The hardest part of letting go – sealed with a kiss“… ballads on a Megadeth album? Dave singing a love song really sounds wrong to me, especially the whispered “goodbye” toward the end of the track. The only thing that saves this song is that after 1:40 the acoustic love song turns into a galloping metal riff for 1 1/2 minutes where the song is much more Megadeth and less Def Leppard, then it returns back to the power ballad. A small blemish on an otherwise brilliant album.If you are an old school Megadeth fan you are going to love this album, I actually finished listening to it the first time wanting more tracks. If you are new to Megadeth you couldn’t have discovered them at a better time, Dave Mustaine has firmly taken hold of the reigns in order to re-establish Megadeth as one of the greatest Metal bands in history with an album that will be talked about for years to come." - Guitar Noize
    $10.00
  • "Coming to a new Edguy is always a good thing. Ten years ago this German melodic heavy metal band single-handedly brought me back to metal in the 21st century (helping to revive me from a decade lost to grunge in nu-metal). Age of the Joker is their ninth studio album, with the band offering both classic and new Edguy.For classic Edguy, tale-telling in epic melodic power metal form, look to Rock of Cashel, The Arcane Guild, and Behind the Gates to Midnight World as they all have that large ambitious Edguy sound. Rock of Cashel offers strong melodic metal with a smooth groove, piano segue half way, and then guitar solos with a celtic feel. The Arcane Guild finds the band echoing the VGO era with galloping power metal, but infused with some Hammond style organ. (Edguy seems to allow for more liberal and evident keyboard presence throughout this disc.) Typical Edguy, Behind the Gates to Midnight World is extravagant: epic melodic metal with varied movements of mixed tempos. The opener Robin Hood also fits this style but, of all the songs, is nearly too typical, almost caricature, of Edguy power metal. It would have been better to put it at the end or, at the very least, switched with Nobody's Feel (which would have been a better start).If bombastic power metal is characteristic of Edguy, so also is extremely catchy melodic metal. Edguy has an uncanny ability blur metal with a strong hard rock groove. Nobody's Hero, the radio friendly tunes Breathe and (vulgar) Two Out of Seven or, to a slightly lesser extent, Fire on the Downline allow the listener to tap his toe and band his head in a single romp. And what would an Edguy album be without a metal ballad? Incomplete, you answer. Every Night Without You is not quite as inspiring as Land of the Miracle, but follows the formula: passionate and soaring.However, the novelty of Age of the Joker is the unlikely and extremely enjoyable Pandora's Box. Beginning with some interesting acoustic/steel guitar work the song develops into that blur of accessible melodic hard rock and metal. Yet, the best part is the return of that steel guitar in blues fashion for the solo. Match this with the catchy melody and chorus, and the new Edguy becomes the surprising evolving Edguy. Age of the Joker is worth this song alone.With Age of the Joker, Edguy continues from strength to strength, another fine album of melodic heavy metal from a band who knows their craft, and keeps getting better at it. Strongly recommended." - Danger Dog
    $6.00
  • Beautiful second album from this Greek symphonic rock band fronted by the etherial vocals of Evangelia Kozoni.  Ciccada is a quartet but this time around they are augmented by a number of musicians including Johan Brand of Anglagard.  Mellotron not withstanding the music has a very strong folk component.  Given the lead instrumentation blend of flute, guitar, and keys I'm often reminded of the first White Willow album "Ignis Fatuus" but if you wanted to throw in a comparison to Tull's "Thick As A Brick" I guess I wouldn't argue. What the hell - let's throw in all those obscure British female fronte folk bands of the 70s.  You know who I'm talking about.    Heavyweight gatefold sleeve.  Highly recommended.
    $29.00