Scale the Summit – The Collective

Scale the Summit is an instrumental progressive metal outfit out of Houston, TX. Having heard them associated with acts like Animals as Leaders (of whom I am a massive fan), I was really eager to dig into this album. I must say that I am stoked as hell to report that I certainly was not disappointed.

Scale the Summit is similar to Animals as Leaders in that they use 7 and 8 string guitars (an impressively, bassist Jordan Eberhardt wields a six-string) and they are all instrumental. They’re also associated with the recent influx of progressive and also djent bands onto the scene. However, Scale the Summit definitely have a style all their own to separate them from the pack.

Immediately it becomes apparent that while The Collective certainly shows off some serious guitar skills, the technicality of the music is much more subtle and melodic than that of many other bands. The jazz influence is felt much more strongly as well, especially on tracks like “Secret Earth” (my personal favorite track on the album) and “The Levitated.”

However, that doesn’t mean The Collective doesn’t ever have a harder edge. “Gallows” and “Alpenglow” in particular are a bit heavier and put a bit more of a djent (harhar) in what would otherwise be a much softer, smoother album, and lend a certain intensity to the overall feel.

When it comes to production, I must say it’s really another area where The Collective stands out. Distorted guitars have the perfect amount of warmth to them, whereas the cleaner leads and solos sound crisp as the mountain air atop the summit which these Houston dudes have indubitably managed to scale. Some tracks like “Secret Earth” even have some nifty effects with fading into/out of the left and right sides and other parts of the album have often unexpected instrumental parts that make it feel as if a band member just walked into the room with you. If you have the opportunity, this the perfect album to check out on a lazy day with a great set of headphones.

Overall, I have to say that The Collective really is an impressive work of forward-thinking metal art, and is destined to become one of my favorite albums. I highly recommend checking these guys out.

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Welcome , today is Wednesday, July 27, 2011