First Reaction: Scar The Martyr
Fri, 23 Aug 2013 12:18:14
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"Am I alive?" asks Scar The Martyr vocalist Henry Derek on "Anatomy Of Erinyes".
Well, Derek, Slipknot drummer and multi-instrumental mastermind Joey Jordison as well as studio cohorts Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails-fame [keyboards], Jed Simon of Strapping Young Lad-fame [lead guitars], and Kris Norris [lead guitars] sound as alive as any metal band can be. In our First Reaction to Scar The Martyr's self-titled debut, something became clear quickly off the bat. Almost immediately, throughout the band's often sprawling industrialized metallic mastery, it's clear that Scar The Martyr pave a path unlike anyone else in heavy music. The album exudes a cinematic scope, making it more akin to a classic cerebral horror film like Suspiria where menace and madness converge in a masterwork.
Jordison's drumming evolves once more here. The polyrhythmic pummeling he's perfected certainly rears its head on the likes of "Prayer for Prey", while the aforementioned standout "Anatomy Of Erinyes" boarders on mind-blowing Tool-style progressiveness. Tribal undertones color the more primal moments of the album, and Jordison once again innovates. The dynamic nature of the songs allows for moments of bludgeoning to subside into haunting acoustic bridges as they do on "Prayer for Prey". Moreover, many songs slide past the six-minute mark.
The use of electronics proves equally impress. "Dark Ages" initially spirals out with danceable synths that could easily soundtrack a goth orgy or scene from Blade, but then some downright deadly guitars sneak in for the attack. You can never pin Scar the Martyr down, especially as "Dark Ages" expands into an epic in its own right.
"Cruel Ocean" illustrates just how massive Derek's voice is. He drives the Scar The Martyr experience locking into Jordison's instrumental backdrop with an equally passionate delivery and assault. They're quite the dynamic duo here.
Everything gets down right dark and dangerous as the album dives further into oblivion. "Last Night On Earth" might be one of Jordison's best songs ever. It's the perfect closer to the album stretching past eight minutes from piano into an almost catchy aura of black metal. It's not that easy though. It's much more challenging and much more rewarding.
Scar The Martyr have arrived here. This is a statement. It's an epic. It's alive.
Are you excited for Scar The Martyr when it drops October 1? What's your favorite song from Joey Jordison's catalog?