Scarve – Irradiant Review

Scarve is a french progmelothrash band, or so it says in their bio. I disagree, sort of. The melodic parts of the band are very elegantly covered by the vicious power of the songs, and I say this with a grin, because these guys have made a very good gap bridger between, say Meshuggah and Zyklon…and even a little early Voivod.

But this is melodic the way the aforementioned bands are melodic: almost subliminally.This is not the happy sweetness of swedish melodeath or finish melothrash. This is something much darker and more compelling. The songs each have a hint of dreamy epic styling, but by no means is that the emphasis. This is right where your face is, flailing metal in the best sense. The band will beat you down with racing beats, turn around and woo you into a state of pleasant narcocomplacence, then hit you across the back of the shoulders with a concrete block of riffage. This roller coaster ride is definitely satisfying. And the riffs are of the type that flow from about three individual smaller riffs so that the melody is actually a function of the interplay.

Musically the band is tight, aggressive and subtle. Every player blends into the mix so that you are listening to compositions rather than separate performances. It has an organic quality that actually makes the record seem alive and under it’s own power of movement. If you do pick out the performers you will hear a band that really seems to get each other and the songs they play – perhaps the single most important aspect of musicianship. The band has two vocalists, one that roars, one that roars, but also kind of sings. His voice reminds a little of that guy from Darkane, and even just a bit of that guy from…OK, settle down before you read this. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let what follows give you the wrong impression or dissuade you from checking this record out. If you do you are a poser vagina who cares more about being seen in the wrong places than loving great music and I hate you and want you dead…Got it, fucker?…the guy from Linkin Park. This connection is very ephemeral, and has to do with his tone only, so relax. The melodic vocals are few and far between, but when they show up they honestly add to the sound.

The production is very big, very epic and about perfect. The guitars transit from Meshuggah chunkiness to Voivod spaceyness without any nail-on-chalkboard editing. The bass is somewhat absent, but that actually gives the band more space to play in, so it may be purposeful. The drums are just a bit on the canned side, but I guess that is par for the course. At least they aren’t tinny. All in all very solid and a real enhancement to a great recording.

Bottom Line: This is a fucking wonderful record. Moody, yet immediate, trippy yet heavy, this thing just fucking demands attention and positive reaction. I believe it could keep the brootal, the grim and necro, the melodic and the eurometal fans in a state of metallic erection for a long time to come. It’s a rare and marvelous fucking slab of terror and you need it, so you will get it. Or. You. Will. Suck.

Posted by Chris Sessions

I write for Last Rites, but in my mind it is spelled Lassed Writes because I am a dreamer.

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