Scarred By Beauty


Written by: AP on 16/04/2011 14:38:14

Scarred by Beauty have assembled a solid following since the release of the "We Swim" EP two years ago. Owing in part to an explosive and fun-fueled live show not too distant from those staged by Parkway Drive, many have begun to regard the band as the premier metalcore act in the country, not that the competition is stiff. Lots has happened in two years, however, including vocalist Jonathan Albrechtsen resigning from his side job in Hatesphere in order to dedicate the maximum amount of time to Scarred by Beauty, touring on foreign pastures, and signing a record deal with the oldest and most respected labels in Denmark, Mighty Music. This latest offering, a debut full-length titled "Sutra", which in Hinduism refers to a thread that hold things together, is the fruit borne by a determined and tireless effort to transform Scarred by Beauty into a full-time touring band.

Musically "Sutra" is essentially an elaboration on the distinct sound established with "We Swim"; intense moments of chaos derived from modern metalcore unite with the expansive, lingering melodies of progressive hardcore to create a soundscape with as many nods to Architects as to Misery Signals. Indeed, influences from the two bands play a crucial role in shaping the sound of "Sutra", particularly on the likes of "Circle the Reservoir" and "Oh Brother, I Believe", but with Jonathan's fearsome death metal growl giving the music a seldom seen extreme edge, Scarred by Beauty are able to distinguish themselves if not as one of the torch bearers of technical metalcore, then at least as a serious candidate for playing on par with them. "Sutra" has less mainstream appeal than "Hollow Crown" and "The Here and Now", and fewer hardcore elements than "Mirrors" and "Controller", whilst retaining the intrinsic melodies and progressive structure central to such albums.

That the three songs taken on board from the EP - "We Swim", "About Words" and "A Million Metaphors" - are the less impressive propositions here is a testimony to the growth and development of guitarists Daniel Leszkowicz and Asser Topp-Mortensen, bassist Chris Kreutzfeldt, and drummer Dennis Leszkowicz as musicians. It takes very little dissection to understand that songs like "Circle the Reservoir", "Oh Brother, I Believe" and "Top of the Morning" have infinite single potential and demonstrate songwriting prowess rarely witnessed on Danish recordings. At the same time, however, consistent and technically impressive though the stuff may be, "Sutra" suffers from a distinct lack of isolable memorabilia, moments that leave the listener at a loss for words, and this remains the sole limiting element in Scarred by Beauty's music.

But even so, the iconic producer Jacob Hansen has ensured the interchanging beauty and chaos sounds absolutely monumental, overwhelming the listener with a deluge of bulldozer riffs, dissonant horror chords and atmospheric stylings. By focusing on their strengths, Scarred by Beauty have managed to write one of the most impressive Danish debut albums in a long time; and when a band is in possession of such skill and compositional awareness so early into their career, all signs tend point to a driving desire to develop and expand. As such, I have no doubt whatsoever that Scarred by Beauty's next release will see the band venture into even more experimental terrain and reconcile the scarce cosmetic flaws that continue to poke at their music. Nonetheless, once the international major press sniffs this one out, there will be no stopping the ambitious youngsters.


Download: Circle the Reservoir; Oh Brother, I Believe; Top of the Morning; Woman
For the fans of: Architects, Misery Signals, While She Sleeps
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.03.2011
Mighty Music

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