Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment

After a demo and a couple of splits, American death metal band Scorched is finally about to release their debut album. And while those other types of releases are good for getting a band’s name out there, Scorched is really the type of band who is more likely to shine on a full-length. The reason for this is that they’ve crafted their own identity even before the music plays. Listening to Scorched is like watching a horror movie, which should be evident from the thrilling cinematic artwork.

The music that complements this visual is appropriate, as Scorched uses numerous creepy interludes to build a haunting atmosphere that spills over into the full-length death metal songs. The most apt comparison would be to Autopsy, who has a similar predisposition towards creating truly sickening music, but Scorched takes this a step further. As subgenres become more diluted over the decades, sometimes they lose what truly made them great, but Scorched has not forgotten this. They bring us back to a time when death metal was truly evil. The riffs on this release are twisted and make considerable use of uncommon intervals to create a bone-chilling effect.

Like most death metal, “Echoes of Dismemberment” is best enjoyed as an entire listen. The album is not devoid of individual highlights though, with “Craving Human Remnants” being the clear standout. This track opens with a wild guitar solo that could get even the most undead zombies moshing. Many of the other tracks trudge along with more than enough variety in tempo and riffing to keep your interest for the record’s duration. While interludes typically detract from the main focus of a record, they actually enhance the experience for Scorched. This makes “Echoes of Dismemberment” a very tight 40-minute album. 

Even if one were to ignore the unique qualities of this record, it is still a reliable death metal album. Of course, it is these identifiers that help Scorched rise above other bands in the scene. Regardless, “Echoes of Dismemberment” still provides brutality, aggression, and even some doomier moments. Though one might write the band off as a bit gimmicky, they never sacrifice quality (and let’s be honest here, nobody is playing death metal to make money or achieve fame). For these reasons, “Echoes of Dismemberment” is worth spinning at least a few times.

Be sure to check out and like Scorched on Facebook!

"Craving Human Remnants"
"Autopsy Incomplete"

Final Rating
4.0/5 or 80%. 

Written by Scott

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Euphoria – Operation: Genesis

Whether or not you have been a fan of many of the bands of the thrash resurgence we’ve seen since 2008, one thing that almost everyone can agree on is that Vektor rules. For that reason, it is no surprise that we’re finally starting to see bands take influence from Vektor. Perhaps more accurately, however, is that there seems to be a renewed interest in technical thrash metal. This is where Euphoria comes in. Their debut album, “Operation: Genesis”, was released earlier this year and is one of the more exciting releases in a year already overflowing with thrash.

As noted above, Vektor is certainly a primary influence on this record. This is evident from Euphoria’s vocalist, who employs a shrieky black metal rasp not unlike David DiSanto (though he ultimately stays within the realm of thrash). His voice is absolutely twisted, as he tears his vocal cords to shreds consistently throughout the record. There is no way that this style can be healthy, or even sustainable, but since this is Euphoria’s first record, that doesn’t seem to be a problem yet. Put simply, his voice rules because it is so wild. This is best evidenced by the opening scream to “Cyberschizophrenia” (more on this track later).

Where Euphoria differs from Vektor is their musical approach. Certainly more technical bands are the largest influence here, but they would lean more toward bands like Realm, Heathen, late-80s Destruction, or any number of other tech thrash giants. The riffing is intricate and extremely tight. There is no shortage of speed, though the band’s mid-paced moments are definitely their weakest. Euphoria is at their best when they sound totally out of control, a feat that they achieve on “Cyberschizophrenia” better than any other track. The riff that opens this song will immediately cause a giant pit, and lead singer Justin Kelter’s scream of the title will only incite more rage. No other track manages to capture this same sense of urgency and chaos, which is not so much a fault of the other songs, but rather a strength of this particular track. 

The remainder of the album comes and goes with less fanfare. There are no awful songs, but nor are there many highlights. Euphoria executes everything with extreme precision and showing substantial thought being put into their song structures and transitions. They may fall one step short of some of the leaders of the genre, but have still created a unique, worthwhile release that is deserving of attention, even amongst a crowded 2016.

Be sure to check out and like Euphoria on Facebook!


Final Rating
4.2/5 or 84%. 

Written by Scott