Scarsun are an alternative metal band from the Ebbw Vale in Wales. The band have been around a couple of years now, playing venues across the country before the lockdown. Since then, they have managed to release three singles in 2020, with an album promised for some time in 2021. In preparation for that, I thought I would check out their three singles and give them a review, let you guys know how much I enjoy them! Their genre is right up my alley so I imagine I will and they will gain a new fan!
The debut, Holding Out, opens on a huge, heavy guitar riff, it sounding even heavier when the rest of the band join in behind it. It goes double-time for a short period too, the drummer really getting to show off his impressive speed and talents. It reminds me of early 2000s, Through the Ashes of Empires era Machine Head, which is a very good thing as that album is incredible. It drops down a little during the verse, a higher lead guitar line running behind the great vocals, backed up by some heavy rhythm chords and bass. It soon ends up blasting into the chorus, the instrumentation or pace not changing too much but the vocals becoming much catchier, the call and response style backing vocals adding a great depth to the part. The guitar and vocals dropping out after the chorus, leaving just bass and drums, sounded awesome and, speaking as a bassist, there isn’t enough bass focused sections in metal these days. The bridge coming out of the second chorus was awesome, the drums yet again working overtime and going nuts, bringing such power and driving force to the song. There is a brief guitar solo for the outro, too, fairly simple but very effective, drawing the song to a pretty epic conclusion.
Crash starts slower, with a beautiful, clean guitar riff. However, not long after the guitar drops out and we are left with an awesome higher bass riff, again backed by some simple but great drums. It sounds incredibly Tool, in the best possible way. The guitars come back in for the verse, complimenting Indie’s vocals so well. The band keep it light too, creating a really great atmosphere and mood around the song. The fact that the band go through two verses with no chorus between while still strips back helps the build and feel even further, so that when it does start to get heavy around halfway through it has an even greater impact. The arrangement kind of reminds me of Cemetary Gates by Pantera in that it keeps teasing the heaviness before it suddenly slaps you in the face with it when you least expect it, making it all the better. The heavy verses are just as awesome as the quieter ones too, and the odd lead guitar part adds even more epicness to the composition. I think I actually preferred this song to the first one as, although there wasn’t as catchy a chorus as the first song, it more than made up for it in atmosphere and the overall feeling and memorableness of the song. It made my playlist, for one!
Reasons gets right back into the heaviness, opening on a HUGE heavy riff almost reminiscent of a band like Gojira. It continues along that vein as it evolves into a second riff, almost a little thrashy and the bass sounding awesome as it can be heard following the guitar. The instrumentation gets a little simpler through the verse (but still sounds massively heavy!) while the vocals sound better than ever here, the duelling-style vocals sounding amazing together. Obviously, it is still one singer doing both parts, but having the lower, distorted vocal answering the main, more melodic one was great. It also means the fully clean vocals through the chorus are more impactful too, and as a result catchier. The huge chords through the chorus are awesome too, but so far this has been a vocal song through and through. We get an awesome lead guitar bit after the second chorus, adding even more depth to the song and sounding great. It soon heads back into a final chorus before we get a reprisal of that insane, heavy intro riff to finish. Another great song, and maybe somehow even better than the first two. I would LOVE to see this live.
Overall: all three of these songs were great. The band have a fantastic blend of heavy and melodic sounds and can clearly combine them together well even in the same song. I cannot wait to hear the full album this year and will definitely be reviewing it. I predict big things for these guys in the next few years!
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The review by musician, blogger & author – Joe Griffiths