Lately I’ve been searching through the France’s Metal map, I felt I didn’t know too many bands from there. Despite my past negligence on the French Metal scene, I can now say that I’ve come up with two positive results, the first being Prog Power Metal sensation HEAVENLY and the other being SCARVE, always a start right?
Anyway, I’m going to say a few words about SCARVE’s new album “Irradiant”. Albums like these are interesting experiences and never to be taken too lightly because then you’ll miss the point. You could give it 2-3 spins and say, “oh, here we have a new DARKANE clone”, that’s what it sounds like at first...guilty until proven innocent. SCARVE plays what they call New Age Death Metal, I guess you can figure it out, Modern Death Metal, but let me point out that the modern influences aren’t about overdoses of samples and random noises. Opener “Mirthless Perspectives” enforces this sound only partly, as it isn’t the most experimental of songs, but it’s full of great spherical riffs and superb drumming, even Devin Townsend would be proud of the wacky solo section. “An Emptier Void” carries on with a brutal assault that last for almost two minutes before this new age thing finally gets the chance to be heard, this is also the interesting part of the song. It’s obvious that the band has put more emphasis on songwriting, the brainstorming of the six members has definitely paid off because you’ll find plenty of weird, small things and even though they’re an Extreme Metal band, they simply won’t bow down to limitations and insert some calm moments (see “The Perfect Disaster”).
Things get pretty ugly a few minutes into “FireProven”; mark my words, this is pure audio massacre. Fredrik Thordendal of MESHUGGAH has a solo guest spot on the very MESHUGGAH like track “Asphyxiate”, those who know of his unique style of mathematical tapping know what to expect, sick and perverse. Vocals change from the usual screaming, growl types to clean vocals or should I say shouts, which are all good actually and well balanced. Another guest appearance pops up in “Molten Scars” where DEFLESHED vocalist Gustaf Jorde adds his touch to the fast nature of the song.
The sound is indeed professional and suits the band and the concept they’ve got going, heavy and clear with those small Mr. Bergstrand touches. Sure there are a few bands who are trying out familiar sounds, when you hear the insane drumming, the solos and clear vocals, you might think of DARKANE or S.Y.L., just try it and make your own opinion. As for me, SCARVE have delivered a well written, well played and well produced Metal album with enough fireworks to set the beginning of 2004 aflame. (Online February 13, 2004)