Review Summary: Scale the Summit continue carving out their niche in the instrumental metal world, creating an album bursting with creativity and poise.
You’ve got to hand it to the guys behind Scale the Summit. For a few years now, they’ve been ahead of their instrumental metal brethren, ameliorating the tried and true formula and creating some of the most intriguing and tasteful music in the genre. Add The Collective
to their already impressive resume, for Scale the Summit once again impress, this time with the best material of their careers.
plays a lot like its 2009 predecessor, Carving Desert Canyons
--well, almost to a tee actually. Relying on the same basic song structures and same bag of tricks, not much has changed on The Collective
. However, more so than ever, Scale the Summit seem intimate, with the music and technical wankery actually feeling more purposeful than ever. Sure arpeggios are doled out in spades, but everything feels so much more necessary. Where Carving Desert Canyons
was the band’s frenzied exploration into tech-metal, this album feels like a thoughtful dissertation, and one which ultimately displays their talents far better than anything else before it.
As before, Scale the Summit play a streamlined style of instrumental metal. Not to be confused with post-metal, The Collective
zips along without stopping for any frivolous builds or climaxes. It’s in the same vein as their previous two releases, but with more emphasis on subtleties. Songs like “Black Hills” and “The Levitated” ebb and flow beautiful, slowing down the pace and taking the intensity way down. It’s effective, and does quite a bit to break up the monotony that was found on their Monument
. Yet don’t mistake this for Scale the Summit going soft. Lush, sporadic, and heavy tracks like “Colossal” and “Whales” still permeate, and offer some of the most impressive pieces and the entire record. The quartet haven’t lost the ability to astound, with the guitar virtuosos featuring some of their best material here. A lot of this can be attributed to the phenomenal production as well, with every instrument audible, and everything meshing perfectly.
is the band’s longest album by far, clocking in at about fifty-two minutes. The curt, digestible nature of Scale the Summit has always been a draw, as trimming the fat has made everything they’ve done feel much more filling and relevant. Their third release suffers a bit because of it, with the album feeling bloated and overlong. However, it‘s tough to really see this as a deal breaker, because literally every track is worth a listen. Scale the Summit have really hit one out of the park with The Collective
; an album that by all rights should make them a household name.