Scordatura have garnered a cult status within the UK underground scene since their inception in 2007. Scordatura are now able to release their second album through Gore House Productions and it sees this Scottish quartet beginning to create a niche for themselves and get them out from the underground from which they came. Scordatura have turned into a brutal force within the UK death metal scene and have amassed an album of technical proficiency and brutality that surpasses most of today’s bands.
Scordatura are now signed to Gorehouse Productions and after four years have now released their second album called “Self Created Abyss”. Maybe that was a reflection on them as to why it took four years to get this album out there, who knows, but it was certainly worth the wait. Scordatura know how to mix technicality with brutality, with their intricate time changing riffs from Owen McKendrick, to the technical sounding snare drum from drummer Tam Moran. Usually I am not a fan of the sound of the biscuit tin snare, but the recording courtesy of Rory Doherty has just got it right, with the sound of the snare especially made it feel as if the band were playing live in your living room right in front of you.
Scordatura like the speed button a lot but they know how to mix it right. Look at the opening song “Repulsive Miscreation” for example, where it’s brutality from the start. Scordatura take their influences from the major players in the scene, however, they add their own touches to separate themselves from the rest. It’s obvious that in the time it’s taken them to record this album; they have worked on their sound and push themselves further up the ladder in the UK death metal scene.
Other highlights include “Godforsaken Castigation” which starts off again fast paced, with vocals of the scream and guttural variety. This really does showcase the vocal talent that is Daryl Bryce, having a range of vocal styles that he can change in an instant from almost pig squeals, to screams, to deep guttural with aplomb. This track for me is at its best when it’s at its slowest, where guitarist Owen gets the front rows of the crowd moshing in unison with his riffs. The time changes are incessant throughout this song with Tam hitting that snare with precision and is a definite highlight for me from the whole album.
Special mention must be given to the appearance of Danny Nelson from the mighty Malignancy having a guest vocal appearance on the song “Malignant form of Humanity”. You can’t get any more brutally technical than Malignancy and this is a fitting tribute to that band from Scordatura, with the all out onslaught this track emanates. This track got this old neck snapping on numerous occasions and is one of the standout tracks on the album. For the clever people out there, you may have noticed that this track was already on a 2015 promo!
Again, Scordatura know how to mix things up with “Engineering Retribution”. This is one for the speed freaks out there but there are moments where the pace is slowed down with Owen playing his deep chugging riffs and the rhythm section of Tam and Derek Wright on bass keeping things in check. Before you think you have any respite, the pace is firing at all cylinders again and blasts all the way towards the end of the song.
“Consumed by Hatred” is next and it’s speed and technical brutality of the highest order. Tam is showing that he can blast it with the best of them and will do well keeping this up in the live environment. “Servants of Entrapment” carries on with the speed theme with razor-sharp riffs from Owen backed up by brutal vocal styles and almost pig squeals from Daryl. He is truly a strong frontman who can switch vocal styles in the blink of an eye. We get to hear the bass for the first time with Derek showing of his skills and having a bass sound that just rips your heart out through your rib cage. Some of Owen’s best riffs are in this song.
“The Vile Existence” just starts off with all the blasts you can want and is relentless in its pace. This is just pure chaos until we get to a cool mid-section a lá Aborted before blasting its way to the end of the song. There are some groove laden riffs in here and Owen adds touch of originality here and there to separate the band from the majority of the scene.
“Ritual Acts of Malevolence” is where Scordatura play their ballad card. Kidding! It’s blasts all the way with Daryl singing so much deeper and guttural than he has at any other point in the album, before excreting his dual vocal style at its best in the album. Does this man ever breathe?
We have the title track next with “Self Created Abyss” which starts off with a groovy riff from Owen which sets the pit ready for the all out blasts again. This is not noise, this is technical death metal and not for the faint hearted. Daryl comes in with almost with deep guttural roars over Owen’s groove riffs and slows things right down to give us listeners some respite in the pit before the groove riff pick things up again.
“Confessions Inscribed” again shows each band member’s talent within the band, whether it’s the riffs again from Owen, dual vocal style from Daryl or the extremely tight rhythm section from Tam and Derek. We even get close to a solo from Owen within the song. This is another particular highlight for me in the album as it has a mixture of everything in the song, but structured to perfection. There is even an ode to the Swedish death metal scene towards the end with probably the best riff of the whole album displayed here. A fitting way to end the album.
Scordatura are a band that you can listen to when you want some groove mixed with technicality such as Aeon, Aborted or Dying Fetus. They are also a band you can listen to when you’re pissed off (as you would with Origin and Deeds of Flesh), so there is something for everybody within this release. Scordatura have perfected their sound and created a niche for themselves in the technical brutal death metal market with homage to their peers as well as expressing originality within a saturated scene. Support the Underground!!!
Self Created Abyss is out now