Runescarred – The Distant Infinite (Self-Released)Tuesday, 25th February 2020
Fortunate to be in a position watching the progress as bands gain seasoning and experience, anticipation has been high since checking out this Texas act from their brief 2018 We Are EP release. Runescarred made a solid first impression with this scribe because of progressive groove metal template that incorporated darkness, emotive vocals, and even Latin flamenco accents when called for. Now we have arrived at the follow-up full-length The Distant Infinite, continuing to fuse those diverse elements of clean to bombast and fury on musical and vocal levels to make for some pulsating, energetic output.
The title of the record comes from the understanding that we as humans strive for perfection, but deep down know that this is unattainable – and yet we move forward as we clock in the mileage for the odometers of our lives. The quintet excel at balancing out thunderous bursts of staccato-oriented riffs and tempos with the right gang-oriented choruses or flashy, progressive moments that come out of nowhere – made relevant out of the quiet introduction for “Hexit”, where you feel like Lamb of God is running headfirst into some classic Forbidden or Nevermore, especially in terms of specific guitar twists and stunning drum mechanics. Neck whipping material such as “Minor Progressions” and “Poison Oasis” can come at the listener from multiple angles, the latter featuring a beefy bass underpinning as the double kick and circular groove riffs and harmonies float in and out against some restrained, lower register verse work. Ven Scott as a singer has a chameleon-like nature to his phrasing and switch-ups for a delivery – he can be commanding and menacing during the southern-swagger filled “Swallow Your Tail” but very melodic and classic or modern rock-driven during the acoustic mover “Sorrow Is”, a difference maker that puts the band on a path to turning heads and gaining wider acceptance due to his obvious talent.
Runescarred assemble a great mix of influences from the 80’s, 90’s and modern times without succumbing to specific dealbreakers as far as obvious breakdowns or pandering to trendy aspects of the scene. The Distant Infinite builds upon their EP beginnings and should allow the band to springboard into a wider following through the right live show/touring opportunities.