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Scimitar (NI) | ‘Where Darkness Dwells’

There’s a gruffness to Scimitar that’s appealing: a garage-ness.

I don’t mean for an instant that they’re somehow simplistic or primitve.

Rather that their choice of priorities in life – high in the mix, authentic sounding double kick, vocals right up at the front – recalls the kind of rehearsal tape excitement of sweat and concentration where some of the best music comes from.

Their thrash comes from Kreator, Destruction, oldest Sepultura, Sodom – you know the score. And there’s a similar sense of abandon here.

Jonny Gray’s throat must be fairly cut to pieces every time they play, and you can hear how much he throws himself into the performance.

The standout however is that drumming performance. I can hear how they’ve progressed over time: the naturalness of the production allows every quick spin across the toms, the militaristic snare rolls, and of course that caterpillar track double kick just too much of the mix to occupy.

The result of that is that the drums themselves become a voice, with their own expressions. Tracks like ‘Sleepy Hollow’ are in effect led by them, perhaps even moreso than the guitars.

‘Behead The Beast’ is a fast ripper, and a sterling example of how a lead guitarist should never be unafraid to duck out of his rhythm duties to take on a cracking solo. It gets thin underneath while he’s doing it, but isn’t that real life?

And it’s things like that that go to show how tight and committed Scimitar are. It would have been so easy to just fill that break out with another rhythm guitar track. But they didn’t, because this thrash comes from a different place.

That they’ve covered ‘Ace Of Spades’ on here should say much as well. Those famous double stop bends are done just so, speaking again to the guitarists lack of intimidation at going loose across these songs.

Sometimes there’s groove, occasionaly there’s a blast, more often there’s condensed high tempo and energy, and at all times there’s a sick, shreddy vocal that you just know hurts to do.

I like it: it’s real.

3.3/5 – Earl Grey ::: 01/10/17

One Comment
  1. Was intrigued by the mention of Kreator and Sodom etc but I can’t get passed them vocals.

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