Friday, September 20, 2013

Symbolic "Scarvest"

It seems everywhere you look these days there's another death metal band collectively sticking up their rotten heads and shouting, "Hey, we're different because we're more brutal than those other weakass bands".  The claims of brutality are as cliched as building a career on a number that appeared in the book of revelations as the number of the beast.   It's a proven scientific fact that bands of any genre who forge their own path either become one of the biggest entities ever or wallow in obscurity.  While those that caught up in imitation often get forgotten once the herd mentality shifts and some inevitably change their sound to pander to the masses.

German metallers Symbolic don't have a death metal name unless you consider the likes of Cynic to be a death metal name.  Neither moniker lets you immediately know that the band favour the stench of death unlike names such as Grave, Cannibal Corpse etc which leave little doubt about the band's genere.  Symbolic contain the requisite death metal grunter even if at times his higher register is closer to many black metal bands.  The guitars come from the more traditional angle and at times it's clear that symphonic metal fans who could handle a change would lap this band's sound up.

 "MySery"  provides another surprise in that it's a quiet instrumental moment with some classical guitar picking and the song conveys a melancholic mood despite or maybe because of its lullaby quality.  The twin guitar dueling contained in "Bittersweet" may prove aptly titled for death metal purists as the guitars sounds are clean and at times there's a blackened tone within the vocals.  It may well prove to be an aptly titled song for many but it's definitely an interesting song nonetheless.  Where the band provides another element of surprise is in the drumming as it shifts from blast-beats to a more standard tempo and them back again.  "Down To Zero" employs a more traditional  rthym and is a major head-nodder due to this fact although some tasty riffing adds to the song . There are grunted vocals combined with a black metal hobgoblin half-shriek.  The grunted vocals alone would have worked better but the other style doesn't weaken the song any.

Symbolic are to be admired for their innovation within a genre not often known for musical risk-taking.  The band are often unpredictable without falling directly under the progressive death metal umbrella.  In many other places where this album has been reviewed, the band are referred to as melodic death metal but the vocals aren't of the clean melodic ilk but the guitar sound comes through much clearer than the more generic death metal bands.   This re-release of "Scarvest" is well worth looking into.  Apparently this is Symbolic's second album and was originally released in 2011.


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