Released: 2004, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Now what a monster of an album is this?! I don´t have a slightest clue why I haven´t checked these relentless Frenchmen´s previous releases out before, but now when I have been spinning their 3rd full-length, monstrously heavy, brutal, violent, etc. (I think you can guess the rest...) album in my CD-player, hmm... let´s honestly say at least 5 or 6 times in a row, I have started feeling an urgent need to order the rest of their two albums, too.
As a short background info about the line-up and such of Scarve for interested parties, the band was formed as a quartet in Nancy, France in January 1994 already and there´s a sextet in the band nowadays and they have played throughout the European continent alongside renowned acts such as Nile, Dew-Scented, Pungent Stench, Myrkskog, No Return, Aborted, Sinister, Reclusion and many more - over 40 concerts and in 2002 only.
It would be easiest to say Scarve plays a brutal and immense heavy Death Metal that borders on an aggressive playing of Thrash Metal at times, but that description would hardly do enough justice for them even if it still isn´t that far from the truth either. Adding such names into the same metallic soup as Strapping Young Lad, Darkane, Meshuggah and Fear Factory we are coming closer to the sounds of what Scarve has actually been made of. There´s simply just lots of sheer power and heaviness in their songs that has been helped by Daniel Bergstrand´s killer production again who has previously produced albums from such artists as
Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, In Flames, Darkane and Dragonlord, too.
Like many other times before, I have this tendency to pay attention to a guitar playing on some certain albums and I´m happy to announce that both Patrick´s and Sylvain´s riff and rhythm mastering is adorable thoroughly the 9 songs on IRRADIANT. Their playing reaches an amazingly technical yet totally intense and brutal level in many tracks on the album; damn killer proofs could be such 4 songs as “Mirthless Perspectives”, “An Empire Void”, “Irradiant” and “Molten Scars (featuring Gustaf Jorde from Defeleshed)”. Absolutely fuckin´ amazing and tight blistering and apocalyptic riffs and rhythms just follow each other in these songs and it sounds like these guitar torturers have a never-ending hunger to punish a listener with a bottomless stream of fierce and razor-sharp guitar attacks. But I´m not the one who´s complaining here one damn bit, heh! I just love this type of a high-octane and muscular playing style. I really do, dudes...!!
Also, both Pierrick´s raw and Guillaume´s clean and polished (and even raw at times, too) vocal parts together create a nice blend of two totally different vocal styles on the album, making the whole recording just a little bit more interesting and enjoyable experience to listen to. Moreover there´s lots of groovy, distorted and experimental elements mixed with the band´s crushing Death/Thrash compositions on IRRADIANT, adding its extra valuable and interesting spice into the already damn tight wholeness.
Scarve... I guess I´d better keep that name stuck in my mind from now on as IRRADIANT was one hell of an album, I can tell. Seems like Scarve is becoming one of my favorite French metal bands little by little, no doubts.