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Boiling Calm - 100%

Writhingchaos, April 15th, 2016

These guys hands down, have to be one of the most underrated artists on the French metal scene. I mean c'mon they started out in 1998 and after the release of their unique yet patchy debut Translucence, have released one solid album after another and yet, pretty much no one seems to have heard of them. I mentioned in my review of The Undercurrent that it was insane that they were yet to get the recognition they deserved in spite of having such a niche sound in a sea of sound-alike bands. I find it all the more inexplicable since the almighty Dirk Verbeuren is also part of the band and c'mon, Soilwork is a band pretty much every metalhead has heard of. You have the goddamn internet to help you out for Christ's sake, do your homework people.

The opener "Mirthless Perspectives" should be enough to convince you that this is one beast of an album. The title track is one groovy death metal assault to die for and the blistering melodic assault of "HyperConscience" never fails to get me headbanging like a maniac in no time. However the last two epics namely "FireProven" and "Boiling Calm" are where the band really shines as a whole unit bringing a subtle progressive metal influence into their face-ripping melting pot of death, thrash and industrial. Here the After being a die-hard fan of all their albums (with the exception of the debut) I have to say that this is the album where pretty much all the elements of their music come together in a raging storm of vicious kinetic drumming, a boatload of riffs and solos along with some of the best vocals I've heard (both cleans and growls). If you happen to be one of those who hates clean vocals with a vengeance, you might just want to watch out since they are in every song. And believe me when i say this; unlike most of the metalcore bands of the 2000s, the cleans don't sound forced in the least bit and actually add to the dynamic intensity of each of the songs. Plus there are quite a few clean guitar breaks in the songs making for a much more varied experience than your average metal album. Clearly this is the album that Scarve has been wanting to make from their very inception and it show on every song, no exceptions.

As I already stated in my review of The Undercurrent, these guys sound like the bastard son of Meshuggah and early Soilwork with a blistering death/thrash influence in the mix along with a touch of industrial metal. And to top it all Fredrik Thordendal even plays a guest solo on the stomping poly-rhythmic chugfest "Asphyxiate"! How about that. "The Perfect Disaster" showcases a lighter, almost post-metal side of the band and the mosh-inducing "Molten Scars" really brings the death/thrash influence to the forefront. The production is probably one of the best I've heard on a metal album with pretty much every instrument being given its full due in the overall mix. Dirk Verbeuren one again gives a performance for the books showing that he is right up there with some of the best metal drummers of today with the likes of Tomas Haake, George Kollias and Mario Duplantier, just to name a few.

If you found the darker experimentation and chaotic production of The Undercurrent too off-putting for the likes of you, this is the album to get introduced to the maniacal world of Scarve. An underrated masterpiece that has stayed with me for years on end and has yet to lose any of its vitality to this day.