The Black Metal supergroup Scour return with their third EP, continuing with a colour theme for the title of ‘Black’ which follow 2016’s ‘Grey’ EP and the ‘Red’ EP of 2017.
Scour – The Black EP (Nuclear Blast)
Release Date: 27 November 2020
Words: Jools Green
Scour are fronted and founded by Phil Anselmo (Pantera Down, Arson Anthem, Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals, Superjoint) on vocals, alongside Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation, Conflux, Covenance, Christ Hate) on guitars, and John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer, Fulgora, All Will Fall) on bass, with newcomers to the project Adam Jarvis (Misery Index, Lock Up, Pig Destroyer) on drums and Mark Kloeppel ( Misery Index, Cast the Stone) also on guitars.
Not a line-up you may expect for a Black Metal project, however it does work superbly well, Phil being one of those hugely competent vocalists that can turn his voice to any genre. But when you look deeper into the line-up, Phil has had involvements with a couple of Black Metal projects in the distant past; performing backing vocals for Christ Inversion from 1994 to 1995, and guitars, bass, and drums for Viking Crown from 1999 to 2001.
Derek Engemann has also performed vocals, guitars and bass for two man Black Metal band Christ Hate from 2007 to 2009, so it is no real surprise that it sounds so good. Not a guarantee either, however this line-up really does deliver.
Sound wise it is as brutal as it gets, a raw Black Metal delivery with a grind undercurrent.
And they have one more trick to pull out of the hat. On opening track the almost industrial, Black ’N’ Grind beast ‘Doom’ has a guest vocal appearance from actor Jason Momoa, whose vocals sit impressively well alongside Phil’s and which could even get a whole new generation of ‘fan girls’ suddenly interested in Black Metal. Well maybe not ….
Also Hate Eternal’s Eric Rutan is on lead guitar, who adds a blistering chunk of soaring leadwork towards the close of the track.
It is a very consistent release throughout, so if you survive the face searing opening track, you will, like me, love the whole release all the way through to the ferociously intense and unrelenting closer ‘Subprime’.
In between you have the aural delights of ‘Nail’, with its hypnotically unrelenting drive which assaults your senses in waves, becoming almost sonic in the second half, ‘Propaganda’ where the equally intense leadwork rises up out of the waves of mayhem midway, ‘Flames’ where it is the waves of vocalisations that take the frontal attack, closely followed by the heavily armed guitars which deliverer a searing burst of second half leadwork.
Then, to throw you off kilter, the penultimate offering ‘Microbes’ is a two minute instrumental interlude with haunting piano and strings, building and becoming orchestrated toward the end. A very epic and unnerving track, throughout which your mind constantly expects a return to the assault on the senses. This finally arrives with that previously mentioned closer ‘Subprime’.
If I was to liken them to any other band, I say from a drive and intensity perspective Anaal Nathrakh, because they have a similar unrelentingly dark, grind laden, brutality to their sound, but Scour are individual enough to remain a unique beast of a band in their own right.
‘The Black EP’ will be released on CD, LP on black vinyl, limited edition white vinyl, cassette and digital formats via Housecore Records (North America) and Nuclear Blast Records (internationally) on 27 November.
A refreshingly brutal chunk of Black Metal to delight the ear and assault the senses.
Philip H. Anselmo – vocals
Derek Engemann – guitar, backing vocals
John Jarvis – bass, backing vocals
Mark Kloeppel – guitar, backing vocals
Adam Jarvis – drums
The Black EP tracklisting: