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Album Reviews : Scour – Black

By on November 14, 2020

SCOUR are an extreme metal super group featuring Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down), John Jarvis (Agoraphobic Nosebleed), Derek Engemann (Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals), Mark Kloeppel (Misery Index), and Adam Jarvis (Pig Destroyer, Lock Up). The group play an intense brand of black metal which has strong foundations in grind and other extreme styles.  Scour have been around since 2015 and have released a reasonable amount of music in relatively short period of time, namely The Grey EP (2016) & The Red EP (2017). Their 3rd EP, The Black EP,  is due for release on November 27th.

The EP gets down to business with ‘Doom’ – the unmistakable sound of Air raid sirens kick things off before being broken off by a barrage of black metal riffing. I really enjoy this track– it’s high energy and the musicianship is great. I believe actor Jason Momoa (Dune, Game Of Thrones, Aquaman) is lending some guest vocals on this –  If it’s really Aquaman that’s doing the low gutturals I’m damn impressed! Anselmo shows his versatility on here too, keeping the track varied and engaging throughout – frost bitten black metal style howls and some impressive lows are all on show. The addition of Eric Rutan’s guest lead work certainly enhances the track too. Doom is a great opener – there is not a lot for me to fault here.    

The next 3 tracks see Scour nail a strong balance between Black Metal and Grind which I really enjoy – NailPropaganda and Flames are chock-a-block full of great riffs, vocal moments, and the sort of intensity and energy that separates the wheat from the chaff. Pat O’Brien (Cannibal Corpse) lays down some guest leads on Flames which is heartening to see after his 2018 arrest. All 3 tracks are quality and don’t overstay their welcome either (each has a run time of under 3 mins in length) – short, sharp and potent is the name of the game here.

Unlike the other tracks on the release Microbes is a brooding instrumental piece which has a very strong symphonic blackmetal vibe. It’s essentially the introduction to Subprime which is a great track that seems to hit on a lot of classic black metal elements.  Subprime contains some less of the grind influence that are more overstated on the preceding tracks –  it’s certainly is the most atmospheric, ‘traditional black metal’ piece on the EP.

I’m by no means a Black metal aficionado but I really enjoy this EP – it is an intense, concise, and somewhat varied release which will appeal to most fans of extreme heavy music. You don’t need to be a full blown black metal fan to enjoy this release, and certainly you don’t need to be a Pantera Fan, or a fan of Phil Anselmo to enjoy what Scour do. In fact, a lot of people who probably would enjoy this EP may never give it a go because of preconceived ideas about Phil’s contribution. Either way, with a run time of less than 20 mins I’d highly recommend giving the EP a spin – you’re more than likely to be pleasantly surprised; I certainly was!

Band: Scour
Album: Black
Year: 2020
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Origin: USA


Chris is a long time metal enthusiast and advocate for Australian heavy music scene. Chris grew up in Perth, Western Australia and is a past member of modern melodeath act Let's Kill Uncle. Currently residing in London, UK.