Review Summary: Inscribe is full forced ferocity with no mark of benignity way ahead of its time and genuinely pleasing to the ear.
Once upon a time, there was Scar Culture.
Hailing from New York City, New York, Scar Culture was once known as Scrape from 1997 - 2001 releasing 2 demos in 1998 and 1999. Changing their name to Scar Culture in 2001, along with their debut and only studio album release, Inscribe on Century Media, Scar Culture managed to capture the essence of combining Death Metal with Grindcore/Hardcore and making it sound rewarding. From Vision to Faith No More's cover S.Y.D., Inscribe starts out with a hypernova of brilliantly executed, face melting brutality and ends on the same level of supersonic soundscapes that make every listen a rollercoaster ride through hell and back. From Roman Garbacik's distinctive growls/screams, Duke Borisov's on spot percussion on the level of Pete Sandoval from Morbid Angel to the collaboration of John Conley's striking guitar riffs melded with the thundering bass of Frank Cannino, Inscribe will surely leave its mark on you and end up in your Death Metal collection.
After the Intro opening track, Vision spends no time kicking you into the dirt with fast blast beats, slamming string riffs and gutteral, yet precise vocals. The break toward the end of Vision starts a crescendo leading to the time change at the end with a hypnotic, repetitive riff fading out to the next track, Keep It To Myself. Roman uses a phaser on his vocals here at the beginning then changing it up to full force after the first verse. Roman does a great job of delivery on vocals on this entire album, making him stand out from a lot of others in this genre which is a feat hard to accomplish.
Servant is one of many highlights on this album. Blast beats galore, raw double kick and many twists. Just when you think it's over, you get pounded again, and again and again. Branded and Dead Alone do an excellent job of keeping your attention by bringing spice to Inscribe without leaving the listener the feeling of repetition or boredom due to repetitive riffs used in every song. Granted there are repetitive riffs on Inscribe, Scar Culture manages to make them all fit into their place with a technique and execution that often used in this genre, but with their own style. Catchy outro's on both Branded and Dead Alone which come to an abrupt end leave you breathing heavily as if you were a part of it all in the studio.
With Devout and God of Disgrace starting out with blast beats, each song goes into its own direction making them unique in their own way bringing Phased and Color Returns to life with a more subtle approach to their intro. The album ends with S.Y.D. by Faith No More and Scar Culture did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the song and managing to put their dry rub of rawness to it, yet not making it too overpowered.
The production of this album is quite balanced. It's not too polished and it's not under-produced to the point to where it loses its crispness. Inscribe is lyrically pleasing with no gimmicks. While lacking lead guitar and bass, this album manages to fit a few off the wall solos and then back to the action of brutality.
Scar Culture is no more. The group disbanded in 2005 and are no longer together. Inscribe is their only album and for sure a rare gem in Death Metal and there is nothing out there quite like it. In 2001, this was pretty underground and even today it still is. Love it or hate it, the album isn't too heavy and was way ahead of its time in 2001 on release.
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