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Review: SCUT – Relapse Into Madness

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German death metal outfit Scut have bestowed a full-length on us at last. Relapse Into Madness is the follow up full-length to their last EP Doom Over Salvation. If you enjoyed the last EP, then it is very likely you will enjoy Relapse Into Madness for the same reasons I do. You can pick up Relapse Into Madness on Bandcamp!

Right off the bat the first thing that caught my attention was the production quality. I usually don’t begin these reviews with production quality, but this is one of those cases where I must because of the noticeable and significant difference between the last EP and this album. For those who don’t know, the last EP had a very underground, self-produced/raw sound to it. It was great for Scut’s music because it fit the semi-chaotic aesthetic going on. The vocal track and the bass are much much clearer on Relapse Into Madness; both have strong presences throughout the entire album. Both make sure to be heard and are very clear. The bass is actually quite loud and is a bit overwhelming in select few sections of a few songs. Of course, that’s purely a personal opinion. If you’re a bass player then you probably appreciate hearing a dominant bass in death metal than I.

Despite the different production quality, the guitar tones seem to sound the same as before, which works. I don’t really like the guitar tones during the brief solos; they just devalue the song, honestly. While the solos themselves aren’t intended to steal the spotlight, they have the ability to take away from replay-value and overall enjoyment from the song. The higher strings’ tone is just cheap sounding, but it doesn’t totally ruin any song for me.

Thankfully Scut integrated more pig squeals on Relapse Into Madness than before because the vocalist does great squeals. They aren’t guttural; they’re really high pitched and a bit scatterbrained like some song sections. One big change to note also is that Scut seems to be trying a different approach to song writing. That is to say, this album offers more structure in a traditional sense while maintaining Scut’s semi-sporadic nature.

I describe Scut as sporadic because the riffs always sound like they involve lots of movement on the fretboard. If it isn’t the guitar doing that, then the bass is. A good portion of “Virus” is led by the bassist and drummer, making the guitar chugs a good basis for the bass and drums to leap off of. “Virus” has a fun and simple rhythm to it that is perfect for the slick transition to typical Scut chaos that occurs by the end of the track. “Virus” is one of my favorite tracks because of the chug patterns and by the simple fact that the bass and drums are the leading factors.

My other favorite track is “Nexus of Desperation and Rage” because it has a nice main riff that flows well with the vocals. There are multiple transitions from that specific, lighter riff to faster riffs and quick licks. This song has one of, if not the, most brief licks thrown in between riffs/verses. I’m a fan of that.

While I enjoyed Relapse Into Madness, it isn’t an album to really acclaim. It isn’t forgettable, but it also isn’t the most memorable and that is NOT because it is generic or boring or any of that. “Rise of the Nemesis” is my favorite track because it brings the most heat and captures Scut’s sound the best out of the whole album. The other tracks have only certain sections. I will say that the drumming is impressive and definitely is one of my favorite things here. I like the snare sound and I like how often the grooves change. Going back to the heat aspect, Scut can and has delivered a stronger punch.

Rate: 6.8/10

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