Housecore Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Extreme metal supergroup Scour release their third in a trilogy of EPs, The Black EP. The group features vocalist Philip H. Anselmo (Pantera, Down, En Minor, et al), John Jarvis (Agoraphobic Nosebleed), Derek Engemann (Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals), Mark Kloeppel (Misery Index), and Adam Jarvis (Pig Destroyer, Lock Up).
Crafting what is their most extreme release yet, The Black EP is unrelenting in its aggression sounding like a hybrid of black, death, and grind. Anselmo being of course the most well-known member of the group, many might be surprised when they hear his vocal performance here. His deep growls are unrecognizable from his most well-known work with Pantera and Down, totally extreme and unrelenting in his performance. Anyone who knows their metal history however, will know this is the man responsible for taking out bands like Eyehategod, Satyricon, and Morbid Angel on arena tours with Pantera and working on projects in the past with members of Darkthrone, Necrophagia, Soilent Green, Anal Cunt, and more. Anselmo has always been into and shown great support for the underground scene.
The Black EP is formatted in the same way as their preceding Grey and Red EPs, six tracks with the fifth being an atmospheric instrumental (this one sounding like it would sound right at home on a horror movie soundtrack). The opening track “Doom” features guest appearances by actor Jason Momoa on vocals and guitarist Eric Rutan (Ripping Corpse, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal). The song starts with a warning siren and a trem-picked guitar part to match it before blasting off. Drummer Adam Jarvis puts in an impressive performance here showing incredible speed and dexterity. The next three tracks “Nail”, “Propaganda”, and “Flames” (which features Cannibal Corpse’s Pat O’Brien) continue in much the same way with unrelenting speed and savagery. The EP is rounded out by the aforementioned instrumental “Microbes” before “Subprime” finishes things off by absolutely pummelling the listener. Though the band does incorporate space here and there to create dynamics in the songs unfortunately there isn’t much here to distinguish one song from the next. While a band like Edmonton’s Revenge deals in the same sort of unrelenting extremity the thing that sets them apart is they truly have a sound to call their own. Scour don’t really do anything here riff or production-wise to distinguish themselves from their contemporaries. The band is smart to release their music this way up to this point though. It would be a lot harder to pull off this approach in the context of a full-length album. Music this extreme is generally best enjoyed in short bursts. Unfortunately, it’s just missing that certain something to make it stand out from the pack.