Scarred By Beauty

Cape Zero

Written by: PP on 27/08/2013 23:26:06

If there's one Danish metal band that's been poised for a proper international breakthrough for a while now, it is Scarred By Beauty. Armed with clear and precise influences ranging from the polyrhythms of Misery Signals through the ambient melodies of Life In Your Way to the high tempo classic metalcore of Your Memorial (and by extension, As I Lay Dying), they mix and match between metalcore and hardcore to arrive at a soundscape that's best described as progressive hardcore or progressive metalcore, whichever you prefer. They demonstrated a solid ability playing this style already on "Sutra" two years ago, but it is on "Cape Zero" that they start forming a true, Scarred By Beauty exclusive identity that should break the doors of international success wide open.

Much of that can be credited to an exceptionally versatile sound. During one moment, SBB may explore borderline hardcore/punk through ferocious, breakneck speed tempo, and only a few passages later they might execute a flawless tempo shift into slower time signatures and those beloved lingering melodies we've come to expect from the very best melodic hardcore bands out there. The variation between different styles of metalcore and hardcore is what makes "Cape Zero" a superior listen to most of their Danish contemporaries, as it balances a heavy, crushing sound with a cutting-edge, modern style that shows just enough influence from the genre heavyweights without resorting into cloning or pure imitation. On top of that, you have vocalist Jonathan Albrechtsen, who has one of the thickest and best screams in the country. He delivers a thick, texture-rich growl that recalls Tim Lambesis on the first couple of As I Lay Dying albums, a comparison not to be taken lightly considering he is often considered to be among the top front men in the genre. While Jonathan's style might not be as nuanced and decipherable, he does an excellent job throughout "Cape Zero", demonstrating numerous moments of great lyricism that's easily distinguished from his relentless roar.

Meanwhile, the instrumentation on "Cape Zero" features a great deal of melody that allows you to easily distinguish the songs from one another. "Ikaros" - with its echoing, albeit slightly juvenile "WE DON'T...GIVE A...FUCK" gang shouts - is one such example of contrasting the vocals very well with uplifting melody, and then you have the ambitious, even epic lead melody in "Confession", and perhaps also "Untitled" and "The Contrast" as well.

What SBB display on "Cape Zero" is a progressive, ambitious -core release that refuses to be pigeonholed in the gray saturation often associated with the genres that belong underneath that umbrella tag. Their songwriting prowess is impressive throughout, leaving behind a crushing, monstrous sound that is undeniably international class by every measure, so much so that I have a difficult time identifying which band would be able to top "Cape Zero" in Denmark this year. Together with The Psyke Project ("Guillotine"), these two bands have proven once and for all who the best metal bands in the country are.

8

Download: Ikaros, Confession, Untitled, The Contrast
For the fans of: Misery Signals, Life In Your Way, Your Memorial
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.08.2013
Redfield Records / Screaming Records

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