Scavenger, "Madness to Our Method"
Scavenger are Irish lads playing a throwback power thrash style that reminds me of Forbidden (many reviews I've read mention Megadeth, but I don't hear it). Their sound is a combination of thrash, progressive metal, power metal and doom. Thrash due to the bouncy riffage, prog due to acoustic atmosphere and meandering compositions that flow around without ever engaging the primal reptile in me (they do not feature endless soloing ala Dream Theater), power mostly due to the vox of Peter Dunne, who has a clean, higher ranged vibrato (but he is capable of doing throaty rasps when he wants to), and doom cuz they periodically slow things down. The guys are definitely talented, but for me to get into their tunes, they're gonna have to write some hooks. There are memorable moments from track to track (all in the riff department), but there are no songs on here that make me want to raise my fist, bang my head and sing along. Singing along in my karaoke car is important to me. The guys said on their site that they put a lot of work into the arrangements of the tracks, but methinks they spent too much time thinking and not enough time rocking out. Meandering is cool from time to time, but even Dream Theater tosses in a memorable chorus here and there - so my suggestion to Scavenger is to listen to some Judas Priest and throw some massive vocal hooks into the next batch of songs. Dunne has the pipes to be a prominent singer in metal, he just needs the hooks to move him up to the next level where people will remember his efforts after the CD has finished spinning.
Unfortunately there's a predominate muddiness to the sound that only the vocals and lead guitars manage to escape from, which pushes the voice too far forward and makes the lack of memorable melodies more pronounced. So what we're left with is yet another band that shows promise, but will have to step things up in the melody department to reach a wider audience (if they're into that). That said, this release might be just what the doctor ordered for you progsters out there who are bored by memorable hooks and have an ear for doomy thrash. I, however, am simple, so I need some hooks. Love me like a reptile, Scavenger, and I will return the amour.D.Berger