Scattered Storm – In This Dying Sun EP

Scattered Storm – In This Dying Sun EP
Bloodblast Distribution
Release Date: 11/11/22
Running Time: 21:12
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

It is the time again where I regale you with tales of derring-do, adventure and debauchery, dear hearts. 

Except I have done none of those things and have instead endured a three-and-a-half-hour team meeting about the young people I wrangle and the urge to off myself in the messiest, most attention-grabbing manner became increasingly urgent the longer the fucking thing went on. Saying that though, there were chocolate flapjacks and brownies and these helped to reduce my desire to blow myself into tiny, sticky pieces by raising my blood sugar to heart threatening levels considering I was hoarding them in my lap and snarling viciously at any of the rest of my team who came within three metres. I might actually have bitten my manager. Apparently I am to visit HR in the head office on Tuesday morning to explain why a) I had taken a live WWII potato masher grenade to work with me, and b) why my manager has teeth marks in her left thigh with bits of chocolate in them. It’s not for the reason you think, you sick puppies.

For reasons of brevity, and the ACTUAL reason you read this shit, I must tell you about Scattered Storm – the subjects of this slanderous scribbling, who are from El Paso, Texas, in the U.S.A. “In This Dying Sun” is a five track extended player and is the band’s second recorded release, after 2021’s “Oblivion” EP and it is not half bad, boys, girls and all other genders (or lack of them). I still refuse to acknowledge, although I am an ally and champion of the LGBTQIA+ community, and am blessed to be friends with people from that community, anyone who identifies as anything stupid, like a cat, or the headquarters building of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, or the Iowa-Class battleship U.S.S. Missouri, and expect me to go along with their delusions are barking up an entire fucking forest of wrong trees, friends. You’re not a sodding Leyland Atlantean double-decker bus in GMPTE 1980s livery. You’re a FUCKING PERSON. Otherkin are weird. So are furries. They get spoogy and that horrible word conveys an entire universe of unpleasant sticky discomfort and a stratospheric specialist laundry bill.

Wow. That went off-piste pretty fucking quickly, didn’t it?

The EP opens with ‘Bloody Love’ and this listener is immediately struck by the band’s sound, being a fairly bewitching intermix of the Cyber Metal of Fear Factory, the Prog of Mastodon and Meshuggah and the frothing rage of Pissing Razors (unsurprisingly as Andre Acosta (vox) is a Pissing Razors alumnus) and the punishing tempo and unhinged roaring of the verse gives way to a barrel-chested clean and harmonized vocal after some gentle guitar work and electronic twinkling. It’s a violent, twisting piece of music – all augmented muscle and bulging veins and it’s a hell of a way to introduce yourself to a poor, unsuspecting British rock hack. This tune will instantly be going on to the Dark Juan Spotify Playlist Of Doom And Horror because I am poor and can’t afford to buy records. 

‘The Process’ is the next song on offer and it is again Acosta barking vitriol interspersed with clean singing and a complex arrangement played on guitars that have more strings than they need to – lots of deep-B chugging, horror tinged electronics and a nasty, wounded attitude abound on this song that is, and I quote, “About our evolution as human beings and how the systematic process imposed by our daily routines has left us empty, slaving into the future with no sense of self. Basically just being cattle being pulled from one end to the other and not having a say about it. Ultimately trying to break free and set the process on fire.”

Indeed. It would not be wise to question these rather angry Americans.

The third song on the EP is called ‘Hollow’ and showcases the more Prog side of the band, with plaintive, clean vocals sounding like the wailing of a broken heart and a (very slightly) less aggressive sound from the rest of the band, the middle eight sounding like a more organic, pistoning Fear Factory before the song transitions through chiming guitars, clean soaring harmonies and a bit of counter-beat showing off and at the end of the song there is an echoey keyboard bit that is very reminiscent of Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails being vulnerable. This song is a show of the band’s considerable chops and it is an absolute blinder, being about the process of putting yourself back together after being utterly mentally destroyed and rather successfully dragging the listener through that process in musical form.

On to the fourth offering, which is the title track and is simply a song about the fact that us humans are fucking the planet beyond repair because all the neurotypicals and the decent folk have basically let the psychopaths become the leaders of men, the politicians and the captains of industry and they don’t give two shits about anything apart from power and profit. The song itself is a fairly straight Metal blaster that reminds your correspondent of a more organic, less polished Fear Factory. This is not an insult – although it sounds like Fear Factory’s brand of mirror shiny Metal, it has a more pulsing, organic, biomechanical feel rather than being technology-driven. A hydraulic piston constructed out of bone and cartilage and having specially-adapted blood lubricating it, if you will. 

The final song on this considerably better than I thought it was on the first listen record is ‘Seen’ and it represents everything that has gone before – Cyber Metal gives way to Prog and Math Metal and the whole coruscates around a core riff and morphs and weaves its way around your psyche in a way that modern metal sometimes fails to do. It has a warm, womb-like quality that is difficult to describe.

All in all, this is a superbly written, admirably performed and excellently produced EP. The production is wonderful, every single little china cymbal hit, rimshot and hi-hat can be clearly heard, even though there’s some SERIOUS downtuning going on and the overall guitar sound is analogous to having your head turned to jelly between boulders. 

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has to be honest with you and tell you that upon the initial listen to this EP, it was not paying sufficient attention and was prepared from the first song to just write them off as a run of the mill quasi-Fear Factory. How wrong the Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System was, as this EP is fucking magnificent. 9/10 for a record that absolutely repays multiple listens, such is its depth and complexity…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Bloody Love 
02. The Process 
03. Hollow 
04. In this Dying Sun 
05. Seen 

LINE-UP:
Jay Arriaga – Drums, Keyboards, Samples
Kevin Armstrong – Guitar
Brian Fausnaugh – Bass
Andre Acosta – Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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