11 January 2014

Scar The Martyr - Scar The Martyr

Take a look at the front cover of this album and band name, what does it suggest to you? To me, it suggests this is going to be one of those emo-screamo outfits who try to rage as hard as possible but in fact come up a bit short. Luckily, it's not that and is in fact quite a tight outfit. The ingredients are all there to make an awesome sonic gumbo - or a shit-stew. Let's have a listen...

First up, the back story: Scar The Martyr first started out as a side project of Joey Jordison, the ex drummer of Slipknot. However, as he has since left the band (Or was he pushed?) it's now his main thing. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way: There ARE comparisons to be made with the former day-job but it's mostly from a musical perspective. This is understandable, but they're not as blatant as you'd think. The one difference is there aren't as many gimmicks in Scar The Martyr like wearing different masks and all that stuff. There is also no fear of Scar The Martyr getting lumped in with the nu-metal crowd like what happened with Slipknot (Although there was always more to that band. Albeit not much...). Also, there are five legitimate musicians in Scar The Martyr as opposed to five legitimate musicians, two DJ's and two percussionists...

It should be noted that on the album, Jordison plays the majority of rhythm guitars, bass and drums. Guitar solos were done by ex-SYL guitarist and ex-Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris. Vocals were done by the previously unknown Henry Derek and - to give him his due - he's NOT a 'Cory Clone'! His voice is actually quite melodic and he can growl with the best of them too. It's a technique that's been done to death over the years but on this album, it's actually refreshing to hear it done with conviction again. Only thing is, the melodic bits remind me of Jay Gordon, the singer from the band Orgy (They had a hit with a cover of the New Order song 'Blue Monday'). The guitars are crunchy and combined with the beats and electronic bleeps-and-bloops, should get a dancefloor at a rock club going.

There are fourteen tracks on the album (eighteen if you get the deluxe version) and there maybe should've been a vote as to which ten made the final cut. The album sounds very vanilla-metal-by-numbers as it seems very familiar, like it's all been done before. Granted, there is only so much you can do with this style of music but surely it wouldn't have hurt to try and come up with something sounding vaguely original? There were times I was listening to this and it reminded me of  Dirge Within, Divine Heresey, Bloodsimple and, of course, Slipknot! Don't get me wrong, Mr Jordison has certainly done his best with this, and maybe once the band becomes a more coherent unit, things may improve. As it stands, it's merely a decent stab. But at least it's better than the fucking MURDERDOLLS...

6/10 - Now I can see where you're going, but not quite there.

Top Track: Soul Disintergration.

Chris J (Back after a sick-laptop-induced-exile, baby!!!)

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