Scale the Summit – The Migration (Prosthetic Records)Thursday, 6th June 2013
Instrumental metal has always been an underdog in the sub-genre of heavy metal overall. Often too heady of an experience for some, or too shred/chops-oriented as to only appeal to the ardent school musician types, it’s very nice when you can gain a sincere belief and appreciation for a group like Scale the Summit that remember to inject discernible melodies and hooks within their obvious talent base on their third album, The Migration.
To categorize this quartet from Houston, Texas is mighty difficult: elements of post-rock, progressive rock, and jazz/ metal fusion come into the forefront when taking in the shape shifting songwriting for “Odyssey,” “Narrow Salient,” and the more stair step, Zero Hour-esque “Evergreen.” Amidst all the seven and eight-string guitar action plus deep bass maneuvers and free-flowing drumming, The Migration captivates due to its inherent melodic sensibilities. You rarely hear a band of this caliber willing to explore atmospheric, echoing textures – and as such Scale The Summit can gain a wider birth of followers due to this hypnotic, layered catchiness.
Seasoned musicians will love jaw-dropping sequences such as the bass/guitar syncopation a la Periphery for “Atlas Novus” (albeit with a jazz fusion backdrop) and the heads down heavy “The Dark Horse” where a lot of slower poly-rhythmic progressive action comes at you from all sides. Guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier, bassist Mark Michell and drummer Pat Skeffington form a potent sound that is exciting and very friendly to all sorts of music fans- rare indeed for instrumental rock/metal.
Do not expect Shrapnel shred here folks – The Migration has a very measured, musically deep quality that will keep consumers captivated and returning for more.