Words by Tommy Concrete
Scumpulse didn’t sound anything like I expected them to, they describe their sound as a blackened crust punk sort of thing. Apart from it being recorded in a bedroom, I don’t hear any punk in this at all and as for crust, I didn’t really feel too much of that either, apart from the fact that they look like they stink. I thought it would sound like late Darkthrone with a bit of Tragedy & Discharge, so I was surprised by the efficiency of their sonic assault.
It is however some of the best black metal I’ve heard coming out of the Scottish scene for ages, with some lead guitar that is going to set a fire under the arse of most established metal bands. Which is no surprise really considering the band contains folk from Fifteen Dead, Burt Ward, Tower of Flies, Tactus & Empyrea. It’s a new band, but not new faces.
The band that immediately sprang to mind when listening to this is the black metal super group ‘I’ featuring reprobates from Immortal, Gorgoroth and Enslaved. Scumpulse are far more savage, in places like very early Emperor, especially the vocals.The aspect that makes me think of ‘I’ is the overall production and the way they switch between black metal and late 80’s Motorhead style riffs, maybe that’s the punk bit.
The production is very clear for a DIY job, but in this digital age, you get more for your 20p then you would’ve done years ago. I think this is what dilutes the crust/punk elements of their sound which I am sure are more prevalent live. Parts of me would like to hear it with a more horrible shit sound to bring out the rawness, but the guitar playing is so good that some of the ‘musicality’ of it would get lost.
Stand out tracks for me are “Home Is Where You Hang Yourself” and “Griefer” which is a perfect mix of bleakness and hatred. The vocals convey a real sense of nastiness throughout the EP without letting up.
To sum up, this is an outstanding debut that blows a lot of their contemporaries out of the water. I eagerly await an album.