Scrollkeeper – Auto Da Fe

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: January, 2021
Released: 2021, Independent
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Cristóbal Torres

Scrollkeeper is a band from Houston, Texas born in 2016. It has an interesting journey in its local scene, as it has had the opportunity to share the stage with several established bands of both heavy metal and power metal; It is surprising that they have achieved it with just one EP released in 2018 entitled: PATH TO GLORY. Ironically, it was just before they started recording their debut album that the band suffered the departure of two musicians; surprisingly that did not stop them and in the middle of last year they released their debut album: AUTO DA FE.

The album is an interesting mosaic of styles; its introduction is a guitar piece that tells us about the wide compositional spectrum that they have without using speed. However, that does not mean that they do not dominate the stridency; “Valhalla’s Gates” highlights the inescapable thrash influences that almost every band from that country possesses; that’s a constant throughout almost all of its pieces.

Justin McKittrick is in charge of giving voice to the pieces; his work is very good, because he respects the sound of his own vocal register. The detail is that that makes him a very average vocalist, without it being possible to highlight any feature of his interpretation except the fact that he is authentic to the style that he is capable of offering. His voice is the only element that allows Scrollkeeper to distance from the thrash terrain and place the band in a heavy environment.

Faced with the impossibility of having found another guitarist, the album ended up being recorded solely by Alexander Kamburov. His work is formidable; since the aforementioned introduction “Event 201” we are witnesses of the interpretative, compositional and technical power of this musician; something that he does not stop expressing throughout the 12 pieces that the album contains. However, it is possible that the presence of a partner on the guitar would have allowed this album to have more color and variety, especially in terms of melody.

Although the album still has a wide ceiling to reach, Scrollkeeper did a good job as it is the result of his own effort; the songs are perfectly recorded and mixed. We can say that this album crystallizes a band that has managed to forge a name in its local scene through playing live, a merit that speaks to us of how well established the group is.

Devil’s Calculus (Lyric Video)

1.Event 201
2.Lady Death
3.Valhalla’s Gates
5.Auto da Fe
6.Gilles de Rais
7.Devil’s Calculus
8.Blood & Sand
10.Path to Glory
11.Fortune Favors the Bold
12.Hellion (bonus)

Simon Marfleet – Drums
Alexander Kamburov – Guitar
Justin McKittrick – Vocals
Andrew Sutton – Bass