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Scimitar through the face - 85%

Razakel, January 16th, 2010

Hailing from the frigid forests of British Columbia, Scimitar have crafted a fresh interpretation of folk metal which is nicely presented on their debut, self titled EP. While musical influences seem to include Ensiferum and perhaps Amon Amarth, Scimitar play their music with a confident technicality, impressive considering the young age of the band members (I don‘t believe any member is older than nineteen). This technical aspect compliments the catchy riffs and melodies which are more commonly associated with the genre to create a sound that is fresh and original.

Habeas Corpus opens up with a great instrumental build up which leads nicely into a catchy verse which reminds me of something off of Einherjer’s Norwegian Native Art. The song speeds up to a vicious pace before displaying some great trade-off solos. The vocals return to inject more aggression into the music and the song concludes past the seven minute mark. Several beats from the war drums sound the beginning of Brethren of the Coast. This song is slightly more melodic in nature, but does not sacrifice the aggression introduced in the previous track. This time, the harsh vocals are accompanied by clean chants, tastefully dispersed throughout the song, which adds a nice layer of diversity to the music.

The song writing and instrumentation from each member really impressed me. The way the band play together sounds very natural, as if they’re just jamming out the tunes for the sheer enjoyment. I love the fact that they’re comfortable with inserting minute-long guitar solos into the compositions because it’s this ambition that makes the music so fun to listen to. It’s clear that the songs aren’t long for the sake of being long because there’s no unneeded sections and they don’t milk the same riffs for minutes on end. The production is succeeds in being clear and coherently bringing out each instrument but I think a thicker guitar tone would make for a heavier overall sound.

This young, and currently unsigned band, is definitely one to keep an eye out for. If what I have described in this review sounds appealing to you, then definitely look into Scimitar because I’m sure they’ve got many more offerings of gold to put forth.