Scour - Scour (RED) - (8.5/10)
Published on December 18, 2017
Anyone in the metal world knows that one Phil Anselmo has had his fingers in many musical pies over the years. While still obviously known more for Pantera and lately, Down, Phil has had a knack for being part of very interesting and intense extreme metal bands. 2015 saw him form the black metal/grind entity known as Scour with members of Cattle Decapitation, Pig Destroyer and China Doll among others. After a pretty well received debut EP, the band is back with their newest EP, a self-titled release again, this time known as “Red”. The quick six tracks pummel with little to no breath in between for less than 16 minutes and are as intense a listen as some of the year’s best.
From the opening track, the guitar onslaught pierces the ears, with the tone very high, and the treble taken up a few notches. The sharpness of the riffs works wonderfully with the insanity of the drums, and the bass does manage to add in a nice layer beneath it all to keep it heavy, but feel more well-rounded. Anselmo is at his peak with his extreme vocals, never letting up and transitioning between a bellowing growl and blood curdling shriek with ease. Each track here manages to give the listener something a bit different, with the biggest break being the penultimate song, “Sentenced”. Being an instrumental synth track that wouldn’t feel out of place on a dark ambient or dungeon synth record, the song acts as the album’s only real slow or “melodic” piece. Everything before and after though is just punishing, and showcases the best of what Scour can offer.
The EP idea of the band’s releases have proven fruitful thus far, as the short bursts give you a great idea of what these guys can do, but leaves you wanting more, and saves it from being too grating or possibly too repetitive and boring. It remains to be seen of course if these guys will put together a full-length release, but the EP’s have served them well thus far. Red shows Scour taking their sound to the logical next place, not totally changing the approach, but fine-tuning and expanding on what had been done before. The sound comes across more confident, and more pissed-off. No matter what this project comes up with next, it’ll be a welcome addition to the scene.