Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Scarsic - A Tale of Two Worlds

Release Date: 25th February 2014 
Genre: Technical Metal, Heavy Metal
Record Label: Self-released
Number of Records: 10

Rating: 7.6/10

It's another Tuesday night review! This week we have Scarsic with their first full-length offering; A Tale of Two Words. A three-piece studio project, Scarsic have crafted their own distinct style of metal, featuring some great riffs, an excellent rhythm section, and excellent dynamic diversity.

The album opens with a simple piano moment that is both lovely and dynamic while hiding underneath a punchy riff, before opening out into a spacious chorus. Throughout the 10-track record, this serves as a benchmark for the dynamic variance of each track, giving the listener a good primer for what to expect. That said, this album doesn't get boring or predictable, providing a variety of sounds from almost Dream Theateresque build ups, to outright groove riffage and almost every other stop along the way. Diversity is definitely the keyword to this record.

As well put together as A Tale is as an album, there are a few moments where the overall production does let it down, the piano on Entropy sounds a tiny bit clippy in context to the rest of the record. There are moments where vocal harmonies sound a little bit unrefined too. During the opening track, this is most apparent. Outside of these small niggles, the rest of A Tale is actually very well produced and put together. There are other tiny niggles, but they aren't really noticeable.

Musically, the album is actually pretty excellent. Asides from the aforementioned diversity, the tonal quality of the album is great. It's not muddy, it's not buzzy, it's tonally warm and well-rounded. The band sound together and coherent, and again, it really accentuates the experience. Listening to a band who aren't quite together can be disconcerting, but Scarsic come together nicely, and it translates really well onto the record.

Despite all of this, A Tale is not a perfect album. Despite being well put together as an album, there are moments where individual tracks lack cogency and feel a little bit disjointed. Live By These Words is a good example of this. The opening section, with the clean chordal moments and the (really, really good) vocal melodies then moves into something that almost feels entirely unrelated and possibly unnecessary. It's still a good song, but it does feel a little disjointed. The album is called A Tale of Two Worlds, and it's probably fair to say that the diversity is done as a nod to the theme implied by the title, and for the most part it does actually work really well. With a bit of refinement, it could be really, really excellent.

The album it's self really is an eclectic mix of themes, held together by some really solid metal. There is something for everyone, be it the technical riffage of Land of Sin, to the really wide open piano and acoustic sounds of A Tale of Two Worlds pt.1, which moves into more excellent and expansive metal.

To wrap up the review, A Tale is a good opening effort from a really talented trio, featuring a lot of really, really good metal. Despite the few niggles that let the album down, it's a really enjoyable experience that hints at a band that, with some refinement, have an awful lot to offer.

Check out Scarsic's Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp accounts. And if you're interested in hearing more, they are on Spotify too!

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I read your reviews every week or so. I just wanted to say, you've introduced me to some interesting sounding music. Some of it I had never heard of it (ex.: Scarsic, which I intend to buy soon). Some of it I was already planning to buy, so your review got me more excited (ex.: Alter Bridge's "Fortress"). Anyway, thanks for the good work!