Dead At The Scene


Written by: BL on 28/10/2010 17:02:34

We all know that appearances can be very deceiving, and if you take this self released debut EP "Sharktopus" from Dead At The Scene as an example - the band and release name sound like the makings of any generic 'American' -core release already. However not so, for you see this Scottish band is certainly more than your average trendy whatevercore as I soon found out. A swash of complicated harmonised guitar riffs, time signature changes, devasting breakdowns leading into and vivid and soaring post-rock guitar landscapes? Why hello there...this does sound pretty interesting.

Opener "Daae" seems a little standard at first for metalcore: ringing lead guitar lines, breakdowns and dissonance, dualling riffs and heavy and clean vocals with some heavily double bass pedals and crash cymbals orientated drumming. But as the song starts to unwravel towards the end we begin to get an idea of what makes Dead At The Scene themselves, with some nice spacey melodies begin to develop into the foreground backed by increasingly melodic rhythm sections. "Echoes" pretty much leads straight on with more heavy breakdowns at the start, but then towards the middle the clean vocals produce a tasteful chorus before suddenly everything mellows down for a pretty colourful post-rock/metal interlude. Song then ends on a climatic buildup of emotive chord progressions and strained screams, where have I heard something like this before? Oh that's right from (the impressive) Devil Sold His Soul.

Following on, "Fireworks" is the instrumental right bang in the middle of the EP, and really allows the band members to showcase a more delicate side of their technical prowess. The guitars feel clean and sparkling bright, before a crescendo of big wailing leads, thick chords and drums build up for the end. "Turns Out He's Luke's Father" is the heaviest track on the album with some crushing dissonant breakdowns, and contrasts the previous song like water and fire. It's short, fairly technical and nasty which is the best way to do the breakdown heavy songs, otherwise it could have gotten dull real fast. The EP finally comes to a close with the mammoth "Paint The Sky", a five minute summarisation of everything this band is all about - the heavy dissonance, the melodies, the dynamics, the epic buildup at the end - everything comes full circle.

My actual gripes to all of this comes here and there, because "Sharktopus" is actually pretty tight and consistent overall it's hard to pick holes at it. The screaming can be occasionally a little mundane when compared to the more impressive instrumentals, and the breakdowns switching between normal to dissonant notes while not out of place do seem fairly run of the mill. The transition between "Fireworks" and "Turns Out He's Luke's Father" is also a little too jarring for me, and is even more noticable when you think about how different the two songs are. On the whole I am impressed with "Sharktopus" for the most part. Sure enough the ingredients used I've already heard before so I wasn't blown away by any individual sections, but the way it's all put together is actually fairly novel and I'd be interested to see where the band goes from here.


Download: Echoes, Fireworks, Paint The Sky
For the fans of: The Acacia Strain, Misery Signals, Devil Sold His Soul, Hondo MacLean
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.06.2010
Self Released

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