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Scythe
Subterranean Steel
October 2013
Released: 2013, Primitive Reaction Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Let's cut to the chaste where Chicago powerhouse Scythe are concerned: they don't fuck about. Glued from the crumbling bones of Usurper and with one sterling release already under their belts, the trio have now unleashed their second effort, which batters its way through innovative and musically-competent gates with finesse and unfettered brutality. It also, for the record, blows its predecessor completely out of the blackened water.



Death metal and thrash are quality subgenres to tie together, and Scythe's take on merging crunching riffs with ruthless tremolo patterns and pummelling rhythms is one that is both unusual and addictive. Speed, precision and interesting technicality forged with pulverising aggression slaps you into attention, while the group's splicing of the record with slower, doomy nuances and atmosphere not only testifies their musical awareness, but the prismatic influences abounding within. Venom and Celtic Frost tussle Sodom and Overkill, in a pastiche that is at once pacing, furious, intricate and complex. Eponymous frontman Rick Scythe's vocals are drowned in effects to the point of disappearing from the front line, but the result is that of dark and harrowing bassy growls: a perfect complement to his stunning improvisational and rhythm guitar work.



Yet flavours of both the old-school and the modern haven't prevented some internet-floating complaints of genericism in the writing of Subterranean Steel's songs, in comparison to Usurper's early days. Yes, track lengths are more compact and ideas more cyclical. But that doesn't diminish the monumental power of the nine-tracker, nor undermine the strength of its skill and potential impact to both underground and wider spheres. Every single number is a tower of fierce groove, melody and thrashing aural assault. With credentials and creativity to burn, it's really no small wonder that Scythe have been carving a respectable niche for themselves in murkier metal sectors so far, but rest assured that this sophomore baby will increase their influence tenfold.



If intelligent fusion and searing heaviness are on your check list, this record is an absolute must. Don't be afraid of the dark...



Review by Rhiannon Marley
Track Listing

1. Leather Aggressor
2. Monarch
3. Subterranean Steel
4. October Dies
5. The Grunting Dead
6. The Bray Beast
7. Beyond the Northwoods
8. Nights of Terror
9. Thunder Hammer

Lineup

Rick Scythe: guitars / vocals
Dan Geist: bass / vocals
Joey Contreras: drums

Other reviews

» Poetry of Illusions
by EvilG

» The Process of Rotting
by Madman

» Decay
by Madman

» Subterranean Steel
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» Subterranean Steel
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Scythe - Subterranean Steel
Previous review: » Scythe - Poetry of Illusions

Scythe
Subterranean Steel
November 2013
Released: 2013, Primitive Reaction
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

There’s been a trend of infusing elements of classic Hard Rock and NWOBHM guitar riffs and drum loops in recent Blackened Thrash Metal releases, and the latest of these which adds songs about death, the occult and plain evil - not to mention a very dark sense of humour - is Scythe’s ‘Subterranean Steel’.



The Chicago based thrashers have pulled out all the stops to make sure they aren’t producing ‘trend metal’ by giving every song on this album a catchy opening that’ll have you headbanging each time you press play. Opening track ‘Leather Agressor’ will grab any keen Skeletonwitch fan by the throat and keep you on your knees in bliss with its galloping riffs and some vocals reminiscent of Carcass in their ‘Heartwork’ days.



Following on from that bitter welcome, ‘Monarch’ and ‘Subterranean Steel’ will keep your blood pumping with melodic instrumentation. Several oozing aahs have been added as well as several excellently paced breakdowns to keep the mosh pit fresh on every track. Also infused in this album’s blend of dark themes is a very sick sense of humour that’ll amuse any B-Movie or Horror Punk fans. So for anyone into Misfits, 45 Grave or Alien Sex Fiend, there’s something here for you. ‘October Dies’ is an obvious tribute to Halloween and continues the sickening thrill ride with use of a cowbell and riffs similar to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.



Overall, this is an album you’ll enjoy from start to finish regardless of whether you are a die-hard thrasher or enjoy any kinds of occult themed rock music. An excellent symphony that’ll please you all the way from here to the grave.





Review by Demitri Levantis
Track Listing

1. Leather Aggressor
2. Monarch
3. Subterranean Steel
4. October Dies
5. The Grunting Dead
6. The Bray Beast
7. Beyond The Northwoods
8. Nights Of Terror
9. Thunder Hammer

Lineup

Dan Geist – Bass
Rick Scythe – Guitar, Vocals
Joey Contreras – Drums, Vocals

Other reviews

» Poetry of Illusions
by EvilG

» The Process of Rotting
by Madman

» Decay
by Madman

» Subterranean Steel
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» Subterranean Steel
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Scythe - The Process of Rotting
Previous review: » Scythe - Poetry of Illusions





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