The Scourger
Dark Invitation to Armageddon

What exactly are they putting in the water in Finland? This is a question I ask myself repeatedly with each new band from there that I stumble upon. I don’t think I’ve heard a single band (OK, maybe one or two) from Finland that I haven’t liked to some degree, and The Scourger is one such band.

Deathened modern thrash metal is the name of the game, not completely unlike bands such as Dew-Scented, Carnal Forge and Hatesphere, but the first band that immediately comes to mind while listening to The Scourger is The Haunted, circa 1998. Their debut full length, Blind Date with Violence, could be dubbed a carbon copy musically, but Jari Hurskainen’s vocal approach has more bite and growl than that of Peter Dolving. With Dark Invitation to Armageddon, I’m happy to say that the band haven’t stagnated much, improving in all fields including songwriting and while The Haunted’s early style of death thrash is still a huge factor in the sound here, they’ve hit upon an altogether heavier and darker sound than The Haunted ever did.

The album opens with a short, slow-building intro that gives way to the explosive “No Redemption” and “In the Hour of Ruin”. Songs such as the vicious and unforgiving “Never Bury the Hatchet”, “Deformed Reality” and album closer (without bonus tracks) “Last Nail to the Coffin” have monster-hook choruses without ever going soft to do so. So goes the rest of the album – mean riffs and well-crafted solos that more than get the job done – you won’t find and ballads, slow songs or clean vocals anywhere – just a relentless thrash bludgeoning from beginning to end.

Sure there’s nothing terribly original or ground breaking about Dark Invitation to Armageddon, but it’s a perfection of the style – each song is a fine-tuned exercise in modern thrash, and if it doesn’t make you want to bang your head or at least nod in approval of a job well done, you may want to check your pulse.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
March 17th, 2008


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