Scarred
Gaia - Medea


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Newton USER (43 Reviews)
August 12th, 2013 | 14 replies | 1,055 views


Release Date: 05/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Love tech death? Never heard of Scarred? Good, you're in for a treat.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The waves are expected to reach up to ten meters high…the news gets worse: 343 is the confirmed death toll…a volcanic eruption in the east of the country has sent clouds of ash almost three kilometers high…witnesses described the ground shaking before a tremendous explosion…

The inherent risk in sticking close to your influences is that no matter what you create, fans will compare you to multiple bands that that have done it before, and done it better. Luxembourg death metal band Scarred lists Meshuggah, Gojira, and Machine Head as prime influences on its death/thrash hybrid sound, but anyone who is likely to stumble across the group’s second album Gaia/Medea could probably figure that out within about ten seconds of the opening song’s first riff. It just so happens that Scarred is a rare example of that band that not only does its antecedents justice, but often outclasses their corresponding latest efforts. Fans of L’enfant Sauvage may cry foul and Unto the Locust’s proponents may beat their chest, but Gaia/Medea is a shot across the bow of the genre giants that puts Scarred at the foot of the tech-death podium. Despite the obvious technical proficiency of all involved, there are a number of compositional techniques and production values that make Gaia/Medea a breakthrough effort for the band.

First and foremost on Gaia/Medea is Scarred’s propensity for riffs that are both rivetingly technical and hellaciously catchy. Guitarists Diogo Bastos and Bertrant Pinna aren’t afraid to venture into major-chord territory, lending songs such as album centerpieces “Low” and “Mosaic” a melodic sensibility usually reserved for the darker side of power metal (think Gamma Ray’s No World Order or Iced Earth’s Burnt Offerings). The visceral power behind “The Great Pandemic”, with its slithering introductory guitar solo and whiplash-inducing drum work, harkens back to Ride the Lightning-era Metallica, though Scarred obviously has a long way to go before consistently reaching those heights. Frontman Sacha Breuer is perhaps the most instantly recognizable feature, with his use of two distinct vocal registers throughout the album. Most of the singing takes place in a Gojira-like rasp, which keeps the lyrics intact but powers through the dense layers of guitar and percussion. When things slow down on the gut-wrenching “Idiosyncrasy,” Breuer descends into his vocal fry for a dead ringer of Trey Azagoth, and indeed, the song wouldn’t sound terribly out of place on Covenant or Domination. His consistent mixing of the two gives songs a dual personality and serves to keep things from getting homogeneous as the album moves forward.

Notable throughout Gaia/Medea is its old-school production, which focuses on creating a unified, organic feel rather than the sharp and mechanical sound typical of the genre. There’s nothing muddy or imprecise about it, but you get the feeling that the band is playing in front of you rather than honing each note in a digital interface and playing it back through headphones. Despite this, individual lines remain crisp – “The Knot” opens and closes with a Scale the Summit-esque guitar line that sounds like it’s echoing around you in a huge stadium, while “Cinder” pitches and rolls on a sea of juxtaposing guitar and bass riffs. The most impressive moments on the album aren’t the most difficult riffs or fastest drumming (though there’s plenty of that), but lie in the rousing peaks that each song revolves around and builds up to. In opening cut “Gaia,” it’s the pummeling triplet-based chorus that resolves two minutes’ worth of double-time breakdowns halfway through the song. In “Empire of Dirt,” it’s the return of a killer arpeggiated guitar riff that surfaces four times during the song, each time in a different harmonic context.

The takeaway from all this is that Scarred check the boxes of an excellent album without adhering to the formulas that can sterilize such an effort. By the time closing eleven-minute monster “Medea” arrives, Scarred have covered a tremendous amount of sonic territory. The stomping guitar lines that carry the song’s opening and final minutes are almost relaxing in comparison, allowing for some breathing room as the album comes to a close. Some clean guitar riffs even snake their way into the mix, and the whole effort showcases a deft sense of pacing as Scarred plays to its audience rather than trying to shoot off fireworks in an exhausting grand finale. From its apocalyptic opening broadcast, Gaia/Medea is an impressively cohesive effort that sees Scarred re-envisioning rather than recycling the music that the album is patterned after. If you found Koloss solid but same-y and wish more bands didn’t suck at trying to replicate Vulgar Display of Power, then you may just love what Scarred has come up with on Gaia/Medea.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL
August 12th 2013



70528 Comments


heard one song, was lame m/

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

pedro70512
August 12th 2013



2402 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

(First posted on MuzikDizcovery.com)

Well that's better than listening to no songs and calling it lame.

FrozenVain
August 12th 2013



2367 Comments


Really good review, man! This sounds interesting and based on the review I will probably really like it. Pos'd.

CK
August 12th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

KILL can be a real cunt when it comes to albums released after 2000 m/

zaruyache
August 13th 2013



5838 Comments


Kill is just mad because it's not 1995 anymore. And he's old.

Digging: Sunwolf - Beholden To Nothing And No One

KILL
August 13th 2013



70528 Comments


well u wouldnt understand ck u havent even heard sadist m/

CK
August 13th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I have silly =P

pedro70512
August 13th 2013



2402 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't mind it being 1995. Land of the Free, Slaughter of the Soul, The Jester Race, Symbolic, Really Heavy Thing, Imaginations from the Other Side, Burnt Offerings, Domination...it was a good year.

KILL
August 13th 2013



70528 Comments


nice edit ck m/

CK
August 13th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That was my original post, then I editted it, then I editted it back

KILL
August 13th 2013



70528 Comments


y did u editttt it u can be truthful with me huni

CK
August 13th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess that's just how I'm a cunt

Sadist is just that group I've seen mentioned often but never listened to until you posted that list of yourse a while back

KILL
August 13th 2013



70528 Comments


aww :] xx

pedro70512
December 30th 2013



2402 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what did I just read

also thanks frozen



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