Deathwhite’s traditionally dark doom casts pall over emotions on dour ‘For a Black Tomorrow’

Depression and darkness are sons of bitches. I kind of know a thing about that, what with the medicine and various therapy sessions I have been through. Luckily, we now live in an age where people (the ones who matter) don’t ostracize those struggling with mental illness and actually understand that some people have a brain that can’t process chemicals the same way as others.

When tackling “For a Black Tomorrow,” the debut record from Deathwhite, it’s hard not to feel your very worst when hearing these songs. The band, whose members remain shrouded in mystery and claim their home ground as my hometown of Pittsburgh (even if I, nor anyone I know in the scene have ever heard of them, and I don’t mean that critically) bring about memories of classic Paradise Lost and Katatonia, as well as 40 Watt Sunn and, of course, Warning, and battling through these songs means being OK with confronting that which hurts you inside. This could help you come to grips and realize this music hits a little too close to home. The album is being released in wider number by Season of Mist, though the music has been available independently since last March.

“The Grace of the Dark” opens the record with a driving riff and the line, “Isolation is bearing down on me,” as the gothy doom unfurls its wings. The singing is deep and pained, especially when revealing words such as, “Into the dark, I will be freed,” as the torment drains away. “Contrition” chugs as strong leads take over and the singing soars. The chorus drives the song, as the music takes on an emotional, jagged edge, while the song thrashes away. “Poisoned” begins with acoustics before the main riff kicks in, and then things return to rustic over the chorus. The singing soaks in gothic waters while the chorus brings crunch, the guitars swell, and the song dissolves in delicacy. “Just Remember” is crunchy as hell, as the words, “Your vanity will only serve to haunt you,” drives in its dagger. The track is moody and dark, the leads burn up, and the song ends in gloomy fog.

“Eden” has a clean start, as grim singing and mid-tempo balladry is launched. Strong soloing belts out for the sky, and the song bleeds away and sets the stage for “Dreaming the Inverse.” The beginning of the song is spindly and hypnotic, with the call of, “Keep calling your name, looking for purpose,” feels pointed. The guitars crush and sink into deep waters, leaving the mood feeling depressed and defeated. “Death and the Master” is the longest song, clocking in at 6:26 and starting clean and mesmerizing. The singing is more forceful here, as the gasp of, “Falling forever without fail,” feels cold. The soloing is spacious and later kind of proggy, while the tempo is torn apart later with the final shot of, “Time is yours to burn!” “Prison of Thought” is swarming and punchy, as power and acoustics entangle, and the focus turns to being trapped in one’s thoughts. “This is my prison, it’s where I will remain,” pays off that essence, and after a dose of quiet, the playing rages into a storm as the song comes to an end. The title cut ends the record with guitars churning and deep vocals, with the lure of, “Breathe in the dark.” The chorus is powerful, as the song lands some final shots, finally fading into the thick black night.

Deathwhite’s first record pushes and hurts and bleeds, and if you’re OK with displaying your vulnerability, “For a Black Tomorrow” could be the ideal passenger for your travels. This is heavy both mentally and physically, and its gothic undertones only help to elevate the blackness. This band revels in your and their doom, and the music they make should help you feel better about embracing your own darkness and sadness.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album (North America), go here:

Or here (International):

For more on the label, go here:

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