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The answer is yes.. quite. In this music world of publicity fueled albeit semi-decent singers (Arch Enemy) and absolute abominations (Decadence) it's not strange how I've developed a direct distaste for female vocalists in extreme Metal. The general reason it draws listeners is the following process: "OMG have yuo heard this?! It's actually a girl screaming". "OMG cool". The process of course proceeds without any attention to the actual music or the quality of the growls compared to the other vocalists in the same business.
What we have here is a chick that sounds very much like Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy on vocals; She's got the same cat scream type of growl going. The big difference is that the music here is pure Death Metal on the technical side of things. There's no stains of distracting Roadrunner metalcore or droning Gothenburg here. Just a bunch of often appealing riffs with pretty good drive. This of course lifts the vocals to new heights. Death Metal music accompanying Death Metal vocals. Not bad.
Looking at the line-up it's not hard to understand why the guitars are in this division. The guitarists have been involved in prime acts like Decapitated and Dies Irae, and it shows. Sceptic doesn't necessarily sound polish but the instrumental performances reek of quality and professionalism. Guitars, bass and drums trade off in a lot of smart twists keeping it interesting. We're not talking musical masturbation though, the songwriting is pretty riff based.
There are also plenty of hooks. "Alternation of Destiny" opens the album with a drum beat I just flat out love and the guitarists are kind enough to accompany it with a fine guitar riff after about ten seconds. The song plows on well and reveals another feature I've rarely heard on similar albums. Clean vocals are used on some of the songs and it sounds okay. At least there's no verse/chorus tradeoffs or anything of the like when they utilize it.
All in all, this is a good Death Metal album that I don't mind listening to once in a while. Instrumental performances, songwriting and production; All the areas are solid.
Songs of choice: "Internal Complexity" and "Suddenly Awaken"
It's been a long time since this release and it seems to me, that this one didn't get enough recognition it should've. Many have dismissed the band since they were patched as another Death wannabes, some didn't like that the previous release went into more melodic areas.
The first thing to be told about Sceptic is that Jacek Hiro is the lord and the ruler in the band - simply he’s the main composer, and the other musicians change on almost every record. It is really similar to what was hapenning in Chuck's band. On this release there are new bass player and a lady as a vocalist. Two tracks are recorded with the fastest running vocalist in the world - Marcin Urba¶, who recorded first and third LP. It needs to be said that Weronika did her best behind the mic, what is more she does not do harsh vocals all the time, sometimes she gives us a sample of her clean voice which is new to the band. Music got faster, ideal for playing concerts. That was what I didn't like about "Unbeliever's Script" - the slowing down in the middle of every track was predictive and stink nu wave. Here you don't have any doubts. Moreover, rhythmic section knows what instruments are made to and their notes are not only adding to Jack's stunts, especially bass lines are clear and really impressive. It is not classic techincal death known from "Human" or "Piece of Time", but lets say - some new look for this hermetic genre. Maybe not so technical but pretty good hybrid of technic and melody. Confirmation to my words is great performance of Coroner's track - "Paralyzed, Mesmerized" (vocals were made by Urbas).
In my opinion it is their best long play. Debut lacked of something, "Pathetic Being" had great piece of music, but spoiled by bad production and horrible vocals, "Unbeliever's Script" was the step in to the wrong path. I hope they won't waste such great material and will play lots of concerts, sell lots of CDs and will get together in the same line-up to record next CD... with beautiful cover, because this one is as usual ugly.