It’s been a while. Somehow Sceptic got passed to me, after a few weeks of music that was making me rethink my whole devotion to guitars in general. I am very happy to say that this makes it all better. A Polish “Death” metal band, Sceptic is solidifying what is already one of the best Euro scenes for lovers of straight forward, well played and well written metal.
To say that Sceptic plays in the style of latter day Death is an understatement. You can hear it all over this disc, and even in the crisp, nearly perfect production of the kind that graced The Sound of Perseverance. But you are also getting a dose of the modern sensibilities of bands like Psycroptic to keep it all contemporary. What’s more, there are some actually WORTHWHILE mellowER bits that recall the best ideas of the best old Metallica ballads. All in all this is a well rounded experience with few flaws.
To use latter day Death and any other band in the same sentence by way of a compliment you can figure these guys play their instruments about as well as you could want. But it goes a little deeper than that, as the group displays the true essence of musicianship in their complimentary playing styles and their devotion to actual songs rather than just impressing the sycophants. This stuff is for banging a head to, for getting in a fight to, for drinking a Guinness and yelling at life to. It moves and it curls and sweeps you along. It tells you a primal story on a level you feel more than hear, while still giving you the technical playing and modern recording that gets your blood moving.
In fact, the production is goddamned near perfect. Every instrument is crisp, audible and given a depth and mass that keeps it squarely HEAVY. Whether on headphones, in the car at full blast or in the office as quiet background, this album has clarity and carries perfectly.
If I have any quibbles at all with this record it would be that I did spend a little too much time thinking about Death and Psycroptic as I listened, but that could just be the critic in me trying to find the best comparison. Maybe the similarities are pronounced, but if you are going to sound like someone, at least sound like the best.
Bottom line: Argue. I know I am right. And when technicality, virtuosity, intensity and professionalism come together as they do here, you are looking at something above the norm. Let me put it this way: If you get this record, the very worst thing that will happen is that you will have a decent record to listen to. The best that will happen is that you will have a record you will keep out of your CD stack and close to your player for a long time to come. If you can find a way to not enjoy this disc, you are a poser fool and should frequent another site. You sure don’t belong here.