‘Echoes of Dismemberment”
(Unspeakable Axe Records)
I have to admit, I had a bit of a two-fold bias towards Delaware death metal act Scorched. First and foremost I am a huge fan of old-school death metal, which they deliver in full force on Echoes of Dismemberment. Secondly, any band that’s released a four way split album with the guys in Outer Heaven (and two other bands) instantly has my attention.
Fans of old school death metal and the death’n’roll style made famous by bands like Entombed and early Six Feet Under are sure to love songs like “Torture Prolonged” and “Rot in Confinement.” The tastefully applied synth-heavy transitional tracks add a “B-list horror movie” atmosphere to the album, and act as a palate cleanser for the sheer brutality of the music. Echoes of Dismemberment is reminiscent of a storm moving forward; slow and triumphant, with the occasional nod to influences of the masters (I hear a little “Human” era Chuck Schuldiner on the melodic parts). And I could be mistaken, but it sounds like they utilized a didgeridoo towards the end of “Scorched” – very tastefully done and a welcome surprise that lends well to the overall feel of the album.
Nowadays in death metal there seem to be three main trends – either a band relies on the “riff salad” formula of tech-death, breakdown-heavy grooves of slamming death metal, or the “metal by numbers” formula of deathcore. The fact that Scorched ignored these trends and opted to go with a stripped down, high gain, old-school death approach (to me) speaks volumes. These guys are in it for the love of true, horror themed/inspired, unfettered death metal in it’s purest form. Overall, Echoes of Dismemberment is a solid first album that I would recommend to fans of first-wave death metal.
– Corey McElligott