Dead at The Scene - Sharktopus EP
Self Release
Tech Metal/Hardcore
5 songs (19:38)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
Surprise of the month
I'm always quite glad whenever I see a Scottish metal band pop up in review sites or magazine, because it's a surprisingly rare occurance given the sheer volume of bands here. That's not to say that all of them are good because that's definitely not the case, but it is a bit disheartening that the metal press, even and especially in the UK, doesn't pay attention to the goings on beyond the outer limits of London.

Back on topic, and we have an EP by Edinburgh's Dead at The Scene called Sharktopus. The non-serious album and song titles would give a first impression of the band landing in that dreaded electronica/metalcore hybrid that bands such as Attack! Attack! inhabit but mercifully the band's music is anything but that trite nonsense, going down a route more akin to proggy hardcore bands. First song Daae shows this off, with that sustained arpeggio Killswitch Engage popularised leading into the verse that's almost post-rocky in execution with some more technical elements like that of say... The Dillinger Escape Plan. It's a bit of a melting pot bbut it works very well. Some parts of the songs border on being breakdowns but thankfully just stay clear, allowing the song to move fluidly without going all chugchugchug. The parts of any of the songs that could fall into that "breakdown" catagory don't feel like they really belong there and is testament to the band's creative abilities but they let themselves down with the end of the last track Paint The Sky which is mostly a well thought out proggy track with the last 40 seconds being a stock part of any metal/deathcore band from the past few years. Turns Out He's Luke's Father starts with a similar problem with a "heard it before" deathcore type riff, and the kinda stock breakdown again. Not a bad song, but compared to the rest of the tracks it's somewhat weak. Not all of the songs are heavy though, with Fireworks being a slower, more melodious piece that again draws out those post rock comparisons I mentioned before and it works well in contrast to the rest of the EP.

Each of the performances hit a pretty high benchmark, with the guitars shining though in both lead and rhythm playing. The vocals work well with the musical style, with a very much hardcore slant on them. The clean vocals again work for the type of music too, but if you don't like either style then you'll probably not be too impressed here. There are no gang vocals at least! The production is surprisingly natural sounding too, especially in the drums which in this genre tend to sound as if they're all be tuned to the same pitch. It's not exactly polished, but you can make out everything. There's just that little bit of sonic grit there that adds a bit more dimension to the sound. In a world where there are plenty of techy bands that while good are basically indistinguishable from one another (read: the "djent" movement) it's nice to hear a band that at least have their own character about them as well as the prowess to boot.
Killing Songs :
Daae, Echoes, Fireworks and most of Paint The Sky
Jaime quoted no quote
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