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Scale The Summit - The Collective CD (album) cover


Scale The Summit


Progressive Metal

3.86 | 114 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Kiddos are Growing Up!

Scale the Summit are an all instrumental technical metal / fusion band. THE COLLECTIVE is their third album.

I was introduced to Scale the Summit as they opened the ProgNation tour during their Carving Desert Canyons period, and was impressed with the technicality and work ethic of the young band. While that album left me a little cold, THE COLLECTIVE is a huge step forward in musicality. Taking a page from post-rock / post-metal atmospherics (or maybe from some of the djent players like Cloudkicker), this is a much more emotional record than their previous work. Where I had mentioned that the previous album seemed to be lacking a lead element, THE COLLECTIVE features some great melodic playing and the lyricism of the guitarists is to me just as impressive as the chops that have always fueled the StS sound. While the technical aspects are still present, the fast-fingered displays are much more subdued.

With the huge influence of Animals as Leaders across the guitar and metal community, it is no surprise that StS have more odd time signatures, more clean jazzy chording, and of course the requisite multi-stringed guitars and bass. But the melodicism points back toward Sean Malone's Gordian Knot project more than the more tech-y Exivious album. Still, the Cynic ethic of meaningful high technique permeates this album. The clean two-handed work on "The Levitated" is very well done and the complex rhythms are seamless. The only possible problem is that perhaps the album is too mellow. "Gallows" is initially one of the more aggressive songs but even that track slips back into the dreamy territory of modern fusion after the initial riffage. By the end of the album, usually my attention has wandered. And for a tech metal band, there aren't alot of "Wow" moments. This is where I think the Animals as Leaders album shines, as it both impresses as well as emotes.

Overall, this is a huge step forward for the young band. The musicality has improved so much, but the genre has also moved forward substantially in the last few years. There are increasingly more and more good metal fusion albums out there, and StS certainly remain in the mix of the better new bands. If asked I would definitely pick THE COLLECTIVE as their best work. But I also forsee even better work in the future if they manage to merge the excitement of pushing the boundaries of technique with their newly evolved emotional expression.

As it is, this is a great background music album for aging metalheads such as I. I can listen to this at work or home and offend no one, but still satisfy my love of great guitar playing and complexity. It's a 3-4/5 star album, and I'm feeling generous today.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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