Scale the Summit

The Metal Examiner: Scale The Summit’s The Collective

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Scale the Summit: The CollectionScale The Summit: The Collective (Prosthetic Records, 3/1/11)

Scale the Summit: “Gallows”

[audio:|titles=Scale the Summit, “Gallows”]

For reasons unknown, aspiring metal-leaning instrumental outfits once found themselves stuck with a forced, false choice between ambience and technicality. To get any kind of notice, it was assumed that a band had to either destroy its listeners with audio acrobatics or surrender all such pretense and hope that its atmospherics were heavy enough on their own.

But as metal circles are wont to do, styles eventually overlapped, and as bands figured out that it was okay to employ both (or, in some cases, neither), pyrotechnics developed a working alliance with atmospherics. A new wave of more flexible instrumental outfits was born, and with it came Texas quartet Scale The Summit.

Though its first two releases sounded more like the work of a classical prog-metal band learning to live without a singer, The Collective finds the foursome more at ease with its sound and crafting true instrumental rock, rather than merely writing songs without words. Those previous releases often let the arrangements merely imply melodies with the band’s impeccable musicianship providing the momentum; this third time around, Scale The Summit has adopted an almost jazz-like approach to its songs, with each instrument taking turns in the spotlight as often as the band as a whole plays a musical follow-the-leader.