Scour – “Black” EP (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
At a time when most rock stars would be happily languishing in the fruits of their success, Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down etc etc) continues to push it to the next level. But not in some corporate advertisement, nor some ‘fun’ TV appearance, but yet another side project, for which he is renowned, and brother, is it a mutha. Wasting no effort in recruiting an extreme metal collective of guitarists Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation, Phil Anselmo & the Illegals etc) and Mark Kloeppel (Cast the Stone, Misery Index), bassist John Jarvis (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer) and drummer Adam Jarvis (Lock Up, Misery Index, Pig Destroyer, Hate Eternal), the acidly named (and rightfully so) Scour was born five years ago. Releasing two prior EPs and a single, the super group have triumphed on the festival stages of Roskilde, Hellfest, Tecate Metal Festival, Maryland Deathfest and more, where their blend of grindcore, black metal and groove have stomped all alike. “Black” is six more tracks of the extreme, this time featuring guests like actor Jason Momoa (“Braven”, “Game Of Thrones”, “Stargate Atlantis” etc), Cannibal Corpse’s Pat O’Brien and Hate Eternal’s Erik Rutan! With an air raid siren sounding, you know what to expect from opener ‘Doom’ as its blast beating mix of dark, whirring riffage and creepy chiming melodies induce nausea over which Anselmo’s impressive vocal regurgitations, pig squeals and growls are made all the more brutal by Momoa’s massive roars before being sharply contrasted by Rutan’s twisting but melancholically soulful solo – wow! Hammering in like a drum machine run amok, Jarvis’ double bass propulsion sets the fearsome beat over which Engemann and Kloeppel display their speed slide riffing to dramatic effect on ‘Nails’, a song that barely gives you time to gather a thought even though you’re already caught up in its emotional overload of being ripped and sawed blissfully as Anselmo continues his vocal menace unabated. Chopping frantically at the end with ‘Subprime’, the chiming melodies are a stark contrast to the ultra-aggressiveness of the ugly riffs and bowel inducing roars of Anselmo, yet under the brilliance of the pedigree talent on show here, come together brilliantly with impressive results and not in the least the memorability of the material – so this is one EP you won’t be forgetting soon! More commonly known for his Southern bands like Down and Superjoint Ritual, Anselmo has delved into the dark side on prior projects like Christ Inversion, Viking Crown and Eibon, but here on the “Black” EP he’s rolled in another dimension to his dynamic work, amply demonstrating that once again, he remains one of extreme metal’s greatest frontmen of all time.