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May 2001
Released: 2000, Independent
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Scornage are a cool new European band playing a distinctly American style of heavy metal. That is, they have more in common with (old) Machine Head and the Bay Area thrash scene than with any of their more power or death metal oriented European brethren. In fact, at times, Andy’s voice sounds eerily similar to Rob Flynn’s growl. Ah, screw that, ‘cause Scornage kick more ass than Machine Head could even dream about these days.

The best thing about Scornage is that they’re not afraid to try and incorporate elements of metal that normally wouldn’t go in a typical thrash song. For example, “Fly With Me” opens with a cool dual guitar harmony solo that is repeated throughout the song. “Step By Step” is a mid-paced cruncher laden with blastbeats (wha???). It’s this kind of experimentation that makes ASCEND an interesting listen, ‘cause truth be told, a lot of the music on here is fairly typical late 80’s thrash, albeit catchy as hell. Andy’s vocals could use a little bit more variation as he basically balls-out growls for the entire CD. Despite these small shortcomings, ASCEND is a good first effort from Scornage and, because they show that they’re willing to experiment, that should help this young band establish themselves in the European metal scene.

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» Ascend
by Waspman

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