Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Scythian Oath > Shadow of the Torturer > Reviews
Scythian Oath - Shadow of the Torturer

How Can We Ignore Texas’s Metallic Contribution? - 83%

bayern, April 16th, 2019

Now we can’t, and we keep going back to this small but essential treasure chest, largely unearthing one-demo wonders from there, but still remaining satisfied by what we have acquired after a not very exhausting excavation work.

This demo is an early entry into the progressive/technical power/speed (a bit of thrash as well) metal roster which on American soil had just started to germinate, with barely Ulysses Siren’s “Terrorist Attack” and of course Watchtower’s mythical full-length debut having shown how it should be done if you wanted to go into a less orthodox, outside-the-box thinking mode. The effort here is perhaps the least audaciously-executed of the three, but it will keep the speed lovers firmly in check with the soaring fast-paced rifforamas on "Break the Mold" which break the mold no worse than Agent Steel’s fabulous debut with impetuous skirmishes carved by choppy intricate breakdowns. "Plea of Innocence" switches to more academic semi-gallops with abrupt faster-paced excursions intercepting the stride, the more pronounced bass support burping authoritatively on the side. The real showdown to remember here, however, is the title-track, a dramatic more chaotically-performed eye-opener full of urgent puzzling riffs, surreal tempo-changes, less restrained headbanging passages, and last but not least the outlandish overdramatic finale.

The lead guitarist is a major performer with stylish melodic pyrotechnics regularly provided, but the vocalist is a bit of a letdown his detached mid-ranged clean baritone never fully involved in the proceedings. The somewhat muddy sound quality gives a curious, archaic flair to the music which works in the guys’ favour as back in those days crystal-clear productions were not exactly the order of the day, and the audience wasn’t that fastidious. Bigger musical audacity was clearly staring the musicians in the face, but they shied away from the instigated staring contest by splitting up. An untimely decision which spawned the equally as short-lived speed metal outfit Sentinel (one demo released in 1986)… and nothing else… yeah, the Texan underground is ample in such one-demo-wonders, flickering in and out of existence, tempting the fan to continue digging, the latter hoping to come across an actual gold mine one day.