Background: On this day, US-based Phil Anselmo black metal side project Scour unveil their newest EP. This latest addition marks the group's second venture into the realm of the blackened and the heavy. Via Housecore Records, this new EP simply and vaguely titled Red is now upon us...and it is time to determine whether or not this brief composition stacks up and whether or not it was worth the wait.
Album Breakdown: Red is ultimately a short, fifteen minute and change experience that presents listeners with the similar vibes and elements of the blackened heavy metal variety that the majority of us have heard before. The EP consists of mostly the typical and standard guitar riffs comprised of tremolo picking and high notes, as well as an atmosphere that is surely recognizeable to fans. The drumming is mostly patterns of blast beats and the vocals are familiar as well, with variating lows and highs of the unclean essence. Finally, Red is composed of six musical tracks: each coming in at around two and a half minutes in duration and one of which being an instrumental.
The Pros: Despite Scour's new EP being mostly standard and lacking innovation, there are still some things found within Red that can be seen as admirable. First off, the ambiance, which is heavily reminiscient of the older black metal roots and sound, is ultimately fairly catchy and nostalgic...even if it is a tad unoriginal. The song titles, while short and as vague as the EP title, offer some level of mystique and intrigue when you look into the lyrics and themes surrounding Red. The band also offers up a lot of energy into the mix, and the musicianship isn't shabby at all. Production quality is fairly good for the genre they're going for, and the structuring and overall flow of the music is definitely competent, as well. The vocals help a lot with the ambiance, and the EP does have its moments here and there.
The Cons: As mentioned before, this EP certainly isn't without its flaws. The music here is very standard and cliche for the genre. The instrumental track featured towards the end of Red feels a bit forced and unnecessary in the long run, seemingly only being there to pad out the already short running time. Also, the riffs and some of the instrumental sections could've used more originality in the riffs or patterns being played. The EP starts and finishes off with a bang, though, don't get me wrong. However, it just leaves you yearning for a little more.
The Verdict: That's about all that can be said about Red, Scour's new sophomore EP. At the end of the day, while it is very brief and there isn't much to it, there are some things found here and there that can be remotely enjoyable for dedicated fans. The EP is over before you know it, but one can still appreciate the nostalgic value that it holds...as well as the energy and enthusiasm of the performers. In all, Red is fun for a one-time listen, even if it is pretty standard.
Fave Tracks: 'Bleak', 'Shank'
**Red, the new EP by Scour, is available now at:**
Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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