JANUARY 4th 2013
SCYLLA: PESTILENCE, WAR, FAMINE AND DEATH
Review by Anka

Scylla is a 5 piece group from Poland that defines its genre as metal/electronica. The band successfully blends the metal and the electronica ingredients indeed, the result is what a typical metal fan would call metalcore. I guess it’s quite characteristic to the genre to have relatively short songs so the 11 tracks flow rapidly within 40 minutes of aggressive metal.

First of all I really liked the ominous album name: ‘Pestilence, War, Famine and Death’.  Altogether I didn’t know what to make of this album, after repeated listens I had my favorite parts but I also felt my attention wandered around. I couldn’t say what new thing this release brings compared to similar ones on the North American scene, maybe a more serious heaviness (as opposed to the screamo anger dominating the latter), but it’s definitely an admirable effort for the European group.

I view this mix of metal and electro like a split personality or, for imagery‘s sake, a dragon with two heads, often there will be a very active head controlling the other one.  With Scylla I think the metal head (pun intended) forcefully dominates the electro head so thankfully there’s a significant dose of pure brutality in there to thrill the heavy metal hearts.

Scylla surprises me with quite heavy parts out of the metalcore realm, for example on the beginning and the end of ‘Enough of Lies’ where it’s almost straight up death metal, then intros to songs like ‘Executioners’ where you can swear you're dealing with the latest Polish death metal release.

From the very first song ‘Disillusioned MMXII’ we are hit with aggressive vocals over intense riffing and tremendous energy coming from both sides metal and electronica; the clean vocals during the chorus parts integrate beautifully and naturally, breaking the brutal feeling but without becoming overbearing. The electro breakdowns splashed in there are more like accents in the musical phrase. Going further, we get assaulted with brutality, heavy breaks and changes of pace punctuated by cleaner but heavy electro spills.
I feel that throughout, the album is losing a bit of the pace it starts with, it gets slower and groovier, as the riffing gets a bit stagnant. There is a level of technicality and rhythm sections derivate from electro beats. Vocal lines are versatile, from ferocious growls to clean, recited or sung parts. It all comes together in a heavy load, built in contrasting pieces of melody, electro bites and mad riffing.

Songs to remember: Disillusioned MMXII, Executioners, The Grey, We can Be Legends

Overall it’s an entertaining release with crushing sound you should check out if you are into this kind of music. Quite a good album for a young band but despite all the album’s good parts and shining moments, it still doesn't really stand out as much as it should. Some tracks are definitely a good listen, some fade, and as a result the album gets stale and might lose your attention. Give it a chance and prove me wrong!