Scordatura
Mass Failure

I was clued into Scotlands Scordatura a couple of years ago by Paul Shaw, then owner of Blast Head Records who re-released the band’s 2013s debut Torment of the Weak, a solid slab of no frills, American styled, brutal-ish, death metal. I missed the 2017 follow up, Self Created Abyss,  but on album number 3, it appears the band has stayed the course.

According to the internet, a ‘Scordatura’ “is a technique in which players of string instruments tune their strings to different notes from a normal tuning. The word “scordatura” is an Italian word which means “mistuning”. It was used for lutes, guitars, viols and instruments of the violin family“.

However, Mass Failure is as ‘normal’ as it gets when it comes to modern, brutal death metal. But that’s a good thing here, as Scordatura delivers 9 big ol’ slabs of damn solid, meaty, American savagery. Notably, you can hear heavy, if beefed up Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Brutality and Deicide influence in the quartet’s confident, no-nonsense approach.

The album has a big, beefy modern production and competently mixes savage blasts as heard on “Skin Trophy” (which would be a solid track on any recent Cannibal Corpse album), “The Flesh That Hates”, “Mass Failure”, and “Immense Atrocity and ample pummeling mid-paced grooves (i.e “close of “Disease of Mind”, “Contorted Existence”, “World Devoured”, closer “Collapse of Humanity”), of which I wish there were a few more, as they seem really adept at them.  Vocalist Daryl Boyce has a powerful, commanding voice akin to George Corpsegrinder, and as a whole, it’s just a really solid death metal record, nothing more nothing less, again, a good thing, but it does hit pretty hard. Which amid my current atmospheric black metal and symphonic metal obsession, gives me a nice simple slap of brutality in the face when I need it.

This is not quite up there with say, Unique Leader’s summer run of killer releases (Athme, Exocrine, Cytoxin, Stillbirth) but if you dug Gorgatron’s Pathogenic Automation, or Incinerate’s Sacrilegivm (or pretty much most Comatose releases), this is in that ballpark of solid, enjoyable death metal in 2020, and certainly jumps the band to one of Scotland’s premier death metal act while Man Must Die figure shit out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 16th, 2020

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