As the story goes, or so I have been told, Runescarred was born from a combination of members of two bands, one called Southern Front, and the other known as Dead Earth Politics. Having heard of neither of the aforementioned I cannot say much else apart from those who know will know, and those who don’t can just do as I am and judge these guys based purely on this release. Not such a bad thing, the unknowing can’t then do what so many people like to do in this modern age and criticize based on the past.
So down to brass tacks as they say. Runescarred label themselves plainly and simply as Heavy Metal. This by nature gives them a very broad range from which to take influence instead of just being lumped into one pigeonhole, and let’s face it, nobody really wants to be stuck in a pigeons hole now do they. That’s just nasty..They also hail from Texas, which to me means that they should be big, brash and unashamedly bold. Are they? Lets us see!
We begin proceedings with “A Darker Man”, and forgive me for thinking that the opening stanza sounds a little like Phil Anselmo. That is only fleeting, as vocalist Ven Scott then shows us his capabilities, and a fine range it is that he possesses. Comparisons have been drawn to Nevermore amongst others with this band, and yes I can see that myself, but to label them as mere copy cats of anyone would be sheer folly.
This first track also gives us the ability to see just how much the other band members shine in their respective roles. Tim Driscoll on ye olde guitar also has the musical range of some sort of metal god, switching with relative ease between acoustic work and flat out neck breaking riffery as exhibited on the second track “This is MIne”. Josh Robins on the bass side of things lurks below and underpins the whole attack with drummer Payton Holekamp. Never being unnecessarily over the top, always the right thing at exactly the right moment.
Closer “Ghost Ocean” pretty much brings this short but very enjoyable little effort to an end with the perfect summary of the aforementioned capabilities. Everything fits perfectly, nothing out of line or too scary for anyone to deal with. References to other bands can be easily thrown around, but I would prefer not to do that. I would much prefer you to listen to these Texans and make up your own mind. Yes folks, this is Metal indeed, and Metal done well. Can’t wait to hear more from these fine folk, and believe me, I think we will.
Big, bold and brash? To some degree, more like just plain fucking awesome I reckon!
Get your chicken pluckers on this one right here.