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Scarve - The Undercurrent

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Scarve - The Undercurrent
Listenable Records
The latest album from the French metal band Scarve features a new vocalist, Lawrence Mackrory (Darkane), after the departure of Guillaume Bideau for Mnemic. Because of other commitments, Mackrory was just a session vocalist and recorded the clean vocals while longtime member Pierrick Valence did the harsh vocals.

The Undercurrent is dynamic and eclectic technical metal with death and thrash influences. Precise riffs slice through manic blast beats, and you'll sometimes hear a guitar solo over the top of it all. The songs are controlled chaos, very dense and thick with creative arrangements. Sometimes they veer a little off course into the realm of the experimental, but they manage to pull back before it goes completely off the rails.

Having two vocalists also helps with the album's diversity. Coarse, harsh death metal growls are countered with melodic singing, which make things much more interesting. Superproducer Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Soilwork, Meshuggah) has once again handled the production duties for a Scarve album, and he always does a good job bringing out the full sound of a band without sacrificing heaviness.

There are a few shaky spots, but overall this is a solid technical metal album that fans of groups like Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad should appreciate.

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