Written by Carcassbomb
Scarred – Scarred
Technical Death Thrash from Luxembourg
Released January 22nd, 2021
Via Klonosphere Records
I knew based on the psychedelic but modern album art this would be an interesting one, digging the aesthetic right off the bat with sounds akin to an old cassette being worn out and playing warped audio. Scarred brings extra noises to their tracks just to make them pop a little more, whether it’s an offbeat guitar tone or an offbeat guitar effect that blends into the atmosphere. They could have made the exact same progressive groove thrash that all the rest with a Gojira inspiration have done but they went with something more original. I’ll be listening to this one all year.
It’s a chunky boy, the construction of the album feels very old school with thirteen tracks of varying lengths. Each track is very distinct with some being much stronger than others but either way, it’s an explorative journey to discover which ones those are, I’m sure they’ll be different for everyone. I particularly love the switch from the synth-wave interlude “Prisms” into the traditional/glam metal inspired “Merry Go -Round”. The only thing that is certain, is that whatever style is performed, it is done so capably. The musicianship and songwriting are solid. Even when I have no idea of what is to come next, I trusted that it will have a point and at the very least entertain me, if not move me.
For the most part, it’s a catchy album, if it doesn’t get you with the vocal hooks then it’ll nail you down with whirring bass of what I can only imagine is a 7+ string guitar. It’s so versatile, the general stamp of “tech-metal” rings very true here as Scarred take influence from the entirety of metal and spruce it up a bit or combine it with other things. It’s a creative album that touches on the key aspects of groove and thrash but in no way limits themselves to it like so many other bands do. There’s clean vocals as well as more death style vocals, both of which come with their own voice operating on a spectrum of sound rather than being locked into one particular method or approach. The vocalist adapts to what the music needs and doesn’t try too hard to reaffirm a specific image.
It’s pretty hacky to say something is varied or versatile when reviewing modern music but it really is that way. So many albums sound like one long song from beginning to end, making it difficult to even remember what the tracks are called. There’s little deviation from the established stylistic choice. Scarred however, have made it their entire thing to detach from expectations and make music on their own terms. None of it sounds out of place or miss-matched, it all makes complete sense by the end of the album. It just might take a few tracks to wrap your head around, like an acid trip, it really clicks halfway through and gains intoxicating levels of control.
I could sit here and tell you about every little change and influence at play on this gorgeous record, from the upbeat jives to the thoughtful instrumental breaks and everything in between but I’ll save my breath and tell you to just go listen to this album right now. It gives me a similar pleasure that I felt when I heard Where The Owls Know Your Name by Rivers Of Nihil where it drags you through conflicting emotions. When it goes hard you’ll want to headbang and tap your feet, maybe a bit of air drumming but on the other hand, when it goes full-blown melancholic wonderland you’ll become a wistful Alice. I adore the synth presence across the album, it does a great job of tying every loose element together.
Superb quality, it can compete with any major tech or prog metal releases right now without issue. I love the modern vibe of the whole thing. Many bands that sound similar go for old natural kind of inspirations whereas this self-titled release brings to mind more of a science fiction setting infused with the psychedelic human nature of Cynic. It’s colossal.