Shrine Of Scars
posted on 1/2008 By:
In the end, this review will answer two questions:
1) How is the new Shrine of Scars EP, The Knife?
2) How long does it take someone to review a five track, barely seven-minute recording?
To be fair, regarding the latter, I did review this elsewhere months ago and didn’t really know what else to say after that, but agreed to tackle it again anyway. Sometimes in life we don’t always make great decisions. I mean, how much can be said about a mere seven minutes of death/grind? I guess I’ll have to throw in another dash of my NorCal-ness to flesh this baby out.
Someone from Disfigured Records once handed me a three-track sampler from SoS’s Violence is the Answer. It was pretty good but as a sampler it soon disappeared amongst by ever-growing pile or NorCal metal discs. After that, it was out of sight, out of mind, and eventually I just assumed the band had split up, so I was surprised to see this one land on my desk. That isn’t entirely my fault though, since this was originally recorded in 2005 but went unreleased as that “real life” thing got in the way. I must have forgotten more than I thought, as the brutal death metal I was expecting turned out to be blistering, brutal death/grind. I had barely soaked in the sound before the disc ended. I was, and still am, left with a feeling of “What the fuck was that?” The best thing I can say about it is that it doesn’t make me roll my eyes as this genre often does, with the laughable guttural belches and asinine lyrics normally presented. The vocals are more scream than growl, and the music has a clear sense of melody and rhythm, particularly in “Septic Romance,” incidentally the longest track here at an Opethian 2:55. Lyrically, this still ain’t Shakespeare, but beats the usual blood-and-guts fare.
I’m not sure that Shrine of Scars has what it takes to break out on a national level, but they do enjoy some notoriety amidst the surprisingly deep death metal scene in their hometown of Sacramento, and they seem to be content with that. That being said, The Knife could be one of those little gems that makes its way around the underground through word of mouth and possibly CD-R traders who want to prove that they are cooler than you by unleashing this on your ears. You can listen to a couple of tracks (“The Knife” and “Guts and Glitter”) at their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/shrineofscars) and see what you think.
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