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Album Reviews : Scar the Surface – From the Shadows to the Fire

By on January 19, 2014

The current Australian melodic death metal scene is in great shape, most notably in Melbourne where they must be putting something in the water, with bands such as Be’lakor, Orpheus Omega and Naberus among others, all having released stellar albums over the last couple of years. Insert Scar the Surface also originating from Melbourne, who have just released another solid melodic death metal opus in the form of their album ‘From the Shadows to the Fire’.

Caliban guitarist Marc Gortz was drafted in to co-produce the album and unsurprisingly has a great deal of influence in the sound the band achieves on the album. Marc’s previous experience and involvement with this record has clearly benefited the band however and the production values on the record are simply fantastic.

The opening track ‘LADOTD’ sets the tone for the rest of album, with an ambient intro section that explodes with one chunky as hell guitar riff and precision drumming that perfectly complements the onslaught. Packed with menacing riffs, groove and the juxtaposition of heavy and soaring vocals, this track sets the bar high right from the offset on the album.

‘Dissolved’ picks up right where the opening track left off, not letting the finger of the trigger, although the soaring melodic chorus of the song does contain perhaps one of the most accessible moments of the album on the same token. ‘Breathing the (D)evil Inside’ has a similar feel with diverse vocals and some excellent guitar work, a theme that runs through the majority of the album. Daniel White’s vocal range is quite impressive and his cleans also avoid sounding whiney, a pleasant surprise as this can often become a major bugbear with this musical style at times.

Perhaps the two biggest highlights on the album however, with exception to the opening track come in the form of the one-two punch of ‘I, The Obscene’ and ‘Without Reverence’, both tracks are well crafted and strike a perfect balance between heaviness, chaos and melody. These songs undoubtedly demonstrate what Scar the Surface do best.

Overall From the Shadows to the Fire is a well crafted, relentless and hard hitting album from start to finish and will certainly garner the band some much deserved attention both nationally and abroad. The major concern that I can see for the future of the band, is perhaps a counter point to the burgeoning Australian metal scene, with the increased level of quality within the Australian scene, along with ever-present strong overseas competition, it will undoubtedly become increasingly harder for bands in the genre to stand out from the rest of the pack and although there is little to fault with From the Shadows to the Fire,  it would perhaps be beneficial for the band to branch out, take a risk and bring something new to the melodic death metal table for album number two.

Band: Scar the Surface
Album: From the Shadows to the Fire
Year: 2013
Genre: Melodic death metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Track listing:
2. Dissolved
3. Breathing the (D)evil Inside
4. Hangman
5. A Strength that Overcomes
6. I, the Obscene
7. Without Reverence
8. Dreaming Through Dead Eyes
9. The Traveller Has Come
10. Overthrow
11. Unite our Blood


In his spare time, between being a slave to the grind, contributing to and hitting up as many local/international gigs as possible. Gareth also contributes to Dutch based metal-zine, books the odd show under the Inherit Earth moniker and plays drums for Sydney-based bands Whisky Smile and Swamp Harlot.