Scolopendra – Cycles

Scolopendra_RingMasterReview

Showing themselves another welcome creative fury of sound and adventure from the French metal scene, Paris hailing Scolopendra release their debut album this month. Their ravenous incitement comes in the shape of Cycles, a maelstrom of varied metal flavours and hostilities creating an increasingly enthralling tempest as brutal as it is galvanic.

Formed in 2007, Scolopendra is cored by the brothers, vocalist Maxime “Pantin” L’hoir and guitarist Thomas “Lord Noué” L’hoir, and also bassist Olivier “Capitaine” Le Lin. Initially their sound was thrash and hardcore based before embracing a more black metal fuelled direction. By the time of first EP Apostasy Beyond Sanity in 2011, the band had developed a heavier more voracious blend of extreme and death metal in their sound. Those early essences still emerge in the confrontations making up Cycles with plenty of new spices included, the band’s sound in many ways having found its true character whilst hinting at the potential of even more to explore and come too.

Cycles opens with the industrial toned instrumental Dream Sequences; an aural hallucinogenic immersion for ears and imagination with haunting ambiences and portentous shadows. It transports the listener into the waiting storm of Purity and its initial thrash bred tide of hungry riffs and merciless rhythms. Quickly the track hits its infectious stride and almost as swiftly turns into a bedlamic assault of nagging hooks, irritable grooves, and bruising rhythmic predation. As the music, Maxime’s raw vocal tones grate and allure in equal measure, prowling the emerging web of sonic and melodic dexterity flanking the grouchy beast.

It is a great full start to the album compellingly backed by Awake Nightmare. A less forceful but just as intimidating proposal, the track initially entices with melodic hooks and gentle temptation before uncaging its own creative animus of intent and animosity shaped with more virulent riffs and toxic grooves. Cycles is another encounter this month which maybe is not creating something majorly new yet as this song alone proves, Scolopendra create raw and seriously enticing incitements which are bursting with fresh and distinctly imaginative character.

Spartan Killer Instinct skirts the senses next, before rushing venomously at them with thrash and death metal endeavour to the fore. As all tracks though, it soon reveals an individual web of intriguing and unpredictable creative rancor, ultimately arriving at a moment of swinging violent flirtation which has its victim gleefully enraptured before the barbarity consumes all over again. It is sweet punishment matched by that of Morbid Psychosis. From a ravenous atmospheric bridging the two songs, a glimpse into the turmoil infesting the world today, the new track bristles with hardcore ire and death metal pestilence. It is a mercurial proposition though; at times an infectious flirtation with great repetitive treads to its tempting and in other times a nasty but riveting nest of sonic discord snaking through song and ears.

SCOLOPENDRA ARTWORK _RingMasterReviewFrom one great track to another as Mental Torture takes over with its brutish nostrils flared as scything beats mercilessly lead the way. The hellacious invasion only escalates as another horde of savage riffs and belligerent rhythms join the corrosive surge of vocal discontent. Though not as open as the sounds around them, there is potent variety to the vocal trespasses across the album which cleverly tempers the general abrasiveness of their aggressive texture. Here it is irresistibly contagious despite its viciousness before the track departs for the emotional and physical jaundice of Psychic Paralysis and in turn the brief atmospheric drama and turbulence of End of Tunnels. Both entice and spark the imagination but are soon overshadowed by the two parts of Pinhole of Diffraction. Part One is a bestial corrosion of the senses, rampaging rhythms and niggling riffs courting the antipathy of the vocals. It soon shows a bold and schizophrenic imagination though which simply ignites an already keen appetite for the release. The track is an off-kilter shuffle of enterprise and barbarity emulated with fresh zeal and rigour by the similarly psychotic and creatively maniacal Part Two.

The album is concluded by firstly Psychotic Mass Murderer, a body of sound echoing thoughts the imagination comes up with from the title alone. Its magnetic swagger and Pantera-esque swing fits perfectly with the loathing fuelled heart of the track, grooves an insatiable devilment received with matching hunger while vocals are the imposing rein on the track’s virulent side. Its successor, Soul Dissolution completes the release with an ambient trespass of static and darkly emotive suggestiveness for a low key but evocative end to an increasingly gripping encounter.

Cycles leaves ears and thoughts throbbing and keen to know more about a band which is heading the right way to become a voracious devourer of global spotlights at some point in their ascent.

Cycles is released 20th May across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/scolopendraofficial

Pete RingMaster 05/05/2016

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