Did you grow a beard in hopes that one day you’ll enter Valhalla to drink and fight forever? Or only read JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or HP Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu after discovering that even the gods of metal worship at their altars? Have you been to more festivals with “hell” or “blood” in the title than sporting events?
Then enjoy the five minutes of glory that is “Odyssey,” the premiere track from Scale the Summit’s new record, The Migration. And after you reattach your face, go pre-order it from Prosthetic, Bandcamp, or iTunes.
Announced for the big NAMM trade show, prog-metal instrumental outfit Scale the Summit has partnered with Strandberg Guitarworks to release the Boden CL7, an instrument based on guitarist Chris Letchford’s specifications, and bassist Mark Michell has released an instructional book for right-hand bassists.
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/06-Gallows.mp3|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.