When Hearts Wither – This Is Where It Ends

After a few years of rather promising activity, Australian Andy Derksen returns with a new full length of his project When Hearts Wither, now no longer a soloist as he is assisted on bass and guitar by American Matt Waldrop, probably a factor that has contributed to further increasing the qualitative depth of the compositions. What does not change is the point of reference that the boy from Queensland has made his own since the beginning, that is, the Daniel Neagoe in Clouds version, so it is certainly not surprising to hear a sound with a notable emotional impact and a not obvious melodic taste. If the coordinates remain those, and therefore this new This Is Where It Ends may be criticised by some on the level of originality, it must also be said that Derksen has progressed further in terms of writing and also in vocal interpretation, now fully up to the standards of his tutelary deity; however, it must also be said that if in the subgenre one accepts the plethora of good epigones of the historic English triad, considering it as an inescapable fact in the face of the goodness of the results, it is necessary to use the same criterion with When Hearts Wither, since it is a unicum in taking cues from a musician and a band whose actual relevance will probably be understood by all only in several years. What matters is that This Is Where It Ends is a splendid album, sorrowful and melancholic in its pace and capable of enveloping the listener in its coils. If I really have to make a remark to Derksen, it is related to the title track, placed at the end of the work, as it is a rather disharmonious episode and lacks the emotional impact that abund in the magnificent five long songs heard up to that point. A venial sin for a musician who, with this proof, demonstrates that he has reached an high level, even if the margins of growth do not seem to have been exhausted at all, and this, in the end, is what counts in a future perspective.

2023 – Independent