Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Desultory - Counting Our Scars

Band: Desultory
Album: Counting Our Scars
Year: 2010
Genre: Death Metal
Country: Sweden

Desultory actually got their start in the early 90s. The band, hailing from Stockholm, disbanded after 3 albums in the mid 90s but reformed in the later part of the last decade. Counting Our Scars is a lot like Evocation's newer stuff. And by that I mean its death metal with very melodic underpinnings. To say this is pleasing to the ears is an understatement.

So the album is sort of on the short side as far as how many tracks it has, only 9. But the length of the songs makes up for it.  Most are above 4 minutes but below 6. My big only complaint would probably be this too. The songs, while good, at times just feel a little too long for their own good. Still, they are all good. Each song contains strong riffing. That seems to be what the band went for, heavily riff driven death metal. Every song can stand alone and be great, but when you put them together the album as a whole knocks it out of the park. While the songs have a sort of samey kind of sound you won't really be mistaking one for another.

I really like the vocals of Klas Morberg. He has a harsh throaty growl that registers somewhere in the mid range. its not too high but not really low either. It does get a little monotonous I will admit but its not a serious mark against the band or album. Unless I suppose you don't enjoy the sound he goes with, in which case this isn't for you.

The drumming is pretty good as well. There are blast beats used sparingly, but just enough that you know Thomas Johnson means business. But when they are used they are put to good use. And another cool thing? You can hear Johan Bohlin's bass through the whole album! So happy about this. It would be cool if he were given a little more leeway and didn't just follow the guitars but these days with this kind of music the bass almost seems to be an afterthought so I'm just glad I can hear it.

Counting Our Scars offers solid death metal chock full of melody. You can put this up there with other releases in this growing phenomena in the world of death metal like Those Once Loyal (Bolt Thrower), Apocalypse (Evocation) and even last years On Divine Winds by Hail of Bullets. You get the punchy meaty riffs of death metal with the sweetness of catchy riffing. I really like the style the band uses on COS and it is something I see myself listening to a lot in the future. It could easily be a gateway album for those who find other stuff just a little too harsh for their ears. I'll be waiting impatiently to see what Desultory comes up with next.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: Leeching Life, Counting Our Scars, In A Cage

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