Scour - Scour - (8/10)
Published on September 26, 2016
The idea of combining members of bands such as Cattle Decapitation, Pig Destroyer, and Pantera among others sounded like a dream to some people. Well, in 2015 that’s exactly what happened. Scour formed to the surprise and elation to many people. Fans of Phil Anselmo had been waiting for him to go back to a more extreme metal sound over the years, which he did with his solo album release, but the promise of the band joining him in Scour made many excited in a new way. The project took on a more black metal and grind aspect for their debut, self-titled EP released in 2016 by Anselmo’s Housecore Records label. A brief six track EP comes and goes in less than 14 minutes, but provides a great teaser of what this band is capable of doing, and making a good case to pay attention for any future releases.
With such a short run-time, there is no time to waste on Scour. From the opening notes to the closing ones, there is hardly any slow down to time to breath. Guitars are sharp and precise, being provided by Derek from Cattle Decapitation and Chase of Conflux and formerly Decrepit Birth and Animosity. The higher register of the guitars is very much black metal influenced, with plenty of tremolo picking, but there are some grooves being laid down as well in some of the slower moments or songs such as “Crooked”. There are so many riffs throughout these quick tracks that the technical skill is quite impressive, and the guitars really create an impactful, cold vibe. The drumming is also quite impressive and really non-stop. Coming from Jesse Schobel, the drums may be the overall highlight on the release, being able to blast away with such fervor but not feeling overdone or showy. The fills are done just right, and the pacing slows down as needed to really accentuate the song.
John Jarvis of the great Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed among other acts is no slouch either. There is a wonderful deep end on Scour that really pounds away in the chest and manages to fit and play along well with the frantic guitars. The pacing on the album is usually full-throttle, and black metal or grind may not always be known for the use of bass, but there is still plenty of heavy as hell playing being done on the album that John’s contribution is undeniable. Vocally, Phil is at the top of his extreme game. After years of crooning away in Down, it is clear that Anselmo was missing some of the harsher tones. With the revamp of Superjoint, and his actual solo record, the intensity in his voice has never been quite as strong and commanding. It helps as well that the vocals range and vary from a deep death growl to higher screams and shrieks. For the most part, the voice stays in a more mid range, but there is such power in the vocals it adds a lot to the EP.
The term “supergroup” is often frowned upon and at times leads to less than stellar results. However, regardless of what you want to call Scour, there is no denying the pedigree the band carries. There is such a powerful performance from each member of the project, and each displaying a great technical and varied ability proving that even if this project is less prominent or widespread as the members main bands, this is nothing to scoff at or ignore. There is a real powerhouse in Scour, and the quick run-time keeps you going back for more to tackle each track over and over again to discover something new and something even more impressive.