Released: 2016, Housecore Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
The more Phil Anselmo uses his mouth for war, as it were, the less chance it has of getting him in trouble for using it in public. His recent “white power” flap effectively derailed Down, at least for the time being, but he and his formidable voice are back at work with the reunited Superjoint – now minus the Ritual – and this new super group Scour.
The band brings together in impressive cast of extremists that includes bassist John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer), guitarists Derek Engemann (who plays bass in Cattle Decapitation) and Chase Fraser (Continuum, former Animosity/Decrepit Birth) and drummer Jesse Schobel (Strong Intention). And this is one “super group” that lives up to the superior potential of their membership on their debut EP.
Anselmo has dabbled in black metal before – with the low-fi Christ Inversion, Viking Crown, Eibon, etc. - but never has it sounded anywhere near as ferocious and fully realized. Scour's furious, piercing tremolo riffage and relentless pace recall Dark Funeral, but Anselmo's husky, from-the-gut growl and the band's efficient, grindcore-like delivery make it much more brutal on “Dispatched,” “Clot” or “Codes” - especially with the bold, bruising, contemporary production factored in.
The chuggier “Crooked” has a Carpathian Forest-like feel to it, with intermittent blasty bursts that send it off to the races. The creepy instrumental mood piece “Tactics” seems a bit of a waste, given that the EP is only six tracks and about 13 minutes long, but it's a nifty enough intro to the climatic and cataclysmic “Tear Gas” with its “Let the war be waged” mantra seemingly hinting – or threatening – of more to come from the band.
And let's hope there is. The EP makes for an enticing, even exhilarating taster. Anselmo and crew sound inspired and engaged here, and obviously mean business. Whether they are in it for the long haul, however, is another story. But Scour are off to a potent, promising start.