Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

One of my favorites - 88%

Milo, August 5th, 2006

Scarve are one of the best bands in the death metal world. Their innovative vision of the genre, instrumental talent and ability to write complex songs with a dab of accessibility and intense atmospheres isn’t easy to match. Luminiferous was an excellent example of that, one very solid album with some minor flaws. However, some of its material was so good I wondered why they didn’t get the deserved attention. That album was one to listen closely.

Irradiant follows the same path as Luminiferous: Very ferocious death metal, played with extreme accuracy, both from the excellent, modern-sounding riffs and the unmatched drumming from Dirk Verbeuren. The riff work is better than ever, even more expressive and seriously aggressive. “Mirthless Perspectives” and “An Emptier Void” show the band’s menacing character. The introductory riff of the former is darkly melodic, imposing a feel of doom to come. And it does come, with the spiraling blast beats working as its chariot of fire. The other song boasts even more aggression, peaking at the section after the solo: It’s composed of intimidating riffs that make the word “chainsaw” to come to mind. The chainsaw dilacerates you slowly but somehow you want more. The song fades nicely into a sprawling, enigmatic section that works as a brief relief before the onslaught starts once again.

The title track is a bit different. It starts crunching like a pitbull, but alternates with some slower, atmospheric moments and has a very remarkable chorus. Scarve’s vocalists are also masters of memorable vocal lines. They aren’t derivative or banal and in this album, they express perfectly the intent of each song. For example, the chorus for “The Perfect Disaster” has some convincing screams and lyrics that fit the overall feel of this song: Its ominous melodies resemble a drowning to me. “Asphyxiate” has a claudicant pace, provided by clashing tempos and sustained by Dirk’s accuracy. The song has even a solo from Meshuggah’s guitarist. If you know them, you know what to expect from this song.

Even in the “fast death metal cracker” category, Scarve graces us with their talent. “Molten Scars” is the equivalent of “Serpent Speech”, the Entombed cover in their previous album: Catchy and straight to the point, it’s all about speed. It also has some vocals that give it a pseudo-industrial feel when coupled with a start-stop riff. “Fire Proven” is longer and more diverse, counting with some pretty evil riffage. However, this song really shines at 3:30, when Dirk applies a dynamic, compelling drum pattern that supports a powerful melodic solo. These songs also show the only weakness of this album. Sometimes, the song structures might get a bit predictable, mainly when they repeat sections to build up intensity. This trick works but can hurt the album a little. The last track, “Boiling Calm” sounds like “Black Prophecies” from Darkness Descends, with its stomping pace, thrashy riffs and spiced up with another great chorus. It has an unnecessary ending but that’s ok.

Irradiant shows Scarve in great form. Excellent riffs, plenty of power and memorability are all here. The production is once again perfect, clean without detracting from death metal’s ideals of rawness and aggression. The lead guitar still has that unique, luminous guitar sound that is so effective at creating atmospheres and soundscapes. Overall, an excellent album and remains as a favorite of mine.