Scale The Summit

Carving Desert Canyons

Written by: PP on 12/03/2009 19:39:29

One listen. That's all it took me to be impressed by Scale The Summit. Maybe that's why they've been stirring up so much buzz in the scene overseas, or maybe it's that they've taken the often all-too-boring instrumental rock premise and crafted an album fitting to the attention spans of today's scenesters? Where Pelican relies on often mammoth-length songs to produce a stunning instrumental landscape for the perfectionists, and Don Caballero take heavy use of polyrhythms as a writing device, Scale The Summit takes both and stuffs it with so much detail and intricate fretwork that it's just not possible to be bored regardless of where you are currently on the album.

The way Scale The Summit accomplishes this is through a changing style on almost song-on-song basis - sometimes even withing the song itself. On one moment the band sounds like Protest The Hero without a singer ("Sargasso Sea"), taking full advantage of raw technical ability and jaw-dropping melody, and the next track you've got guitars leaning distinctly into extrem metal ("Dunes"), which recalls the best moments from Between The Buried And Me's magnificent "Colors". Then you've got the adventurous, playful guitar/bass interplay in "The Great Plains" that could've been straight off Damiera's "M(US)IC", and they're more of an experimental post-hardcore band than anything to do with metal. And what would you say if I'd say that the band has mastered temperatures through their music? You'd probably look at me and call me crazy, but it's interesting how a song like "Dunes" has an intriguingly 'cold' feel to it, whilst "Age Of The Tide" offers much warmer guitar sound and more vivid, perhaps somewhat busier soundscape, helped by the stupifyingly good bass-work, perfectly audible as if this was a raspy punk rock record or something.

But don't you worry with the punk reference, the production is damn near pitch-perfect here, allowing the band to live up to their name in scaling their guitars back and forth hundreds and hundreds of times for the duration of the record. "Carving Desert Canyons" is the type of album that's almost impossible to turn off once you've pressed play on the first song, it's as much an attention-grabber as it is an exercise in artistic completeness and the interplay of inner/outer beauty. To put it short, it's basically Protest The Hero meets Between The Buried And Me, only without any singing whatsoever.

8

Download: The Great Plains, Glacial Planet
For the fans of: Protest The Hero, Between The Buried And Me, Pelican
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.03.2009
Prosthethic Records

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