Darkest Era – Wither On The Vine: Track By Track

Darkest Era released one of our favourite albums of 2022 in Wither On The Vine (review here). We welcome the band to At The Barrier as they take us through Wither On The Vine, track by track, exploring the themes and styles in the music.

Wither On The Vine is the bands first full length album in nearly a decade so it is a real treat to have them guide us through it.


This song began just as an intro and then the main guitar melody, and we built it from there. We wanted to channel a bit of Paradise Lost in the intro with the cello, and the vocal melody touches on something Messiah Marconi might have done with Candlemass.

Lyrically it’s old fashioned gothic romance against the backdrop of a burning world. 


This was one of the first songs we completed at the demo stage. We knew it would be a key song and it helped direct the song writing for the rest of the album. The intro is deliberately reminiscent of When The Levee Breaks, and the old school vintage drum kit shines through on the snare and tom hits.

The song has an epic, grandiose feel and we knew the vocals would have to match so we wrote a 5 part vocal harmony for the verse, and doubled every line so it sounds huge. You can also hear Sarah’s vocals here in the mix.


This one turned out better than we imagined in the demo stage. Black metal riffing meets an Iron Maiden sense of anthemic melody, with an extended bridge and a vocal part which is a huge nod to Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd.

The lyric has simple pagan themes about the importance of our connection to nature and the world around us. 


This was a difficult track to get right. We must have had a dozen different arrangements of this before finally settling on basically the original version which we jammed out at the rehearsal room a few years ago. It features guitar effects and textures that we haven’t used before, such as the Hammond organ. The song has a classic rock/doom feel, it’s a bit unusual structurally but after a few listens it works very well.

The lyrics are adapted from the Tennyson poem of the same name, and puts an uplifting spin on a rather morose theme. 


This one came together pretty fast at the demo stage, again it started with the main guitar riff and we built the rest of the song from there. The verse is driven by the groove of the bass riff, again with Hammond organ providing the texture. The chorus features in total something like 20 vocal parts for that choral effect.

During the recording myself and Sarah left to pick up her son from the childminder, and by the time we came back Krum had both written the choral part and recorded it, in the space of about 90minutes which was astonishing. The outro riff is Opeth-esque.

All in all an interesting song I think. 


This was the only song that we had played live before going into the studio, but we ended up totally reconfiguring the track from the version we had performed. This is more typical of what the band had done on previous records but with the epic factor dialled up, and complete with some nice guitar harmonies.

The main guitar melody is also doubled an octave higher, which is something we did quite a lot on this record to kind of give some sort of signature or consistency across the parts. 


Easily the most black metal we have channelled so far with the furious blasts of the main riff and chorus. This is definitely a different flavour for us but Krums vocals hold everything together, and again they are layered up for a choral effect similar to viking-era Bathory. We’ll probably explore more of this type of thing in the future.

The lyric, written around the time the Taliban were sweeping across Afghanistan, is more generally about regimes, ideologies and empires as they spread across nations and replace what was there before. 


The idea behind this one was to write essentially a neo-folk song, but with climatic post-metal elements inspired by my favourite MONO album ‘Hymn to the Immortal Wind’. Some of us had children during the pandemic and during the writing of this album, and thematically this song deals with the profoundly contrasting emotions of starting a family and seeing life brought into the world, but also having a dark worldview and wondering what kind of world they are being born into.

The title itself is also a sort of snipe at governments and multinationals, and a comment on how we’ve been brought to this point. 

Our thanks go to Darkest Era for sharing more about Wither On The Vine with us. It is always good to go deeper into a record and explore more about the thoughts, processes and themes of records.

You can read our full review of Wither On The Vine here.

DARKEST ERA: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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