Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Many of the ten tracks on the album fall under the four minute mark, with just two of them going over that mark (the self-titled track and "Fortress of the Dark"), so it would stand that Scarification would put their best within the time confines that it sets upon itself. Heavily influenced by bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, and early-era Darkthrone, it is obvious from the the opening track "Spirit of the North" that it goes for a raw black metal sound complete with production values that recreate that sound from the time period. The lo-fi effect makes for an album that has to be turned up to hear everything that the album has to offer. The overall speed of the music is also similar, as it doesn't go fast, instead stretching out notes to prolong the aural agony that it wishes to inflict on the listener.
The atmosphere, particularly on the self-titled track, has a nighttime in the forest in the winter feel to it, something that is pulled off with surprising efficiency given that it's coming from a band from the predominantly desert land of New Mexico. At times, the low production values work against Scarification, as even with the sound turned up, it's still somewhat difficult to pick up what is being put out there. What does work though is the disjointed nature in which the songs are presented, something that at times, hides the fact that the songs have mostly the same consistency in terms of delivery and tempo.
Scarification is definitely a product of the bands that it looks up to, and while it doesn't break any new ground, it does pay homage to bands such as Mayhem and Burzum well. While the low production values do add to the sound, it also overdoes it a little, as even with the sound turned all the way up, it's still somewhat inaudible. Scarification is worth a listen or two if raw black metal is your preference.