Scavenger - Madness To Our Method
Sentinel Steel Records
Heavy Metal
7 songs (42:49)
Release year: 2004
Sentinel Steel Records
Reviewed by Mike

Madness To Our Method is the debut release from Ireland's Scavenger. After what was considered an impressive demo by some in 2001, Scavenger have emerged on Sentinel Records with their debut release.

Like many debut recordings that I have listened to over the past few years, Scavenger has a lot of good things working in their favor, but there are also some notable points where improvement is necessary. Scavenger play a brand a heavy metal that has obvious influences from metal icons such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, and even 80's-era Rage. Scavenger infuse old school thrash, power metal, and traditional metal into a promising sound that comes together very well on a musical level. Scavenger have been working very hard since their inception in 2001 to fill what they consider to be a void in the Irish metal scene. Without further a due, let's discuss the album at hand…

First off, I want to talk about the bright spots of this album. One word: guitars! Furious riffs dominate the album, while the rhythm section of bassist Niall Cooney and drummer Johnny Kerr form a steady, forceful backbone for the sound. The riffing consistently chugs away at a break neck pace, while the bass guitar is just as prominent in the overall sound. The lone exception would be track number 6, Unstoppable Motion. This is a slower, very Sabbath-like doomy number. The song is built around a sludgy, yet heavy groove that drills its way into your memory. Of course, this song benefits greatly from the bold bass guitar presence. Aside from this track, the band does an excellent job at maintaining the energetic, intense pace throughout the album. For a young band, the technical abilities of these musicians are relatively advanced.

For the most part, the music on this album is very good. However, vocalist Peter Dunne really dampens my enjoyment of this album. When he stays in the lower registers, his delivery is rather fitting for the music; raspy and aggressive. In a failed attempt to diversify his singing, Dunne also tries to sing in the higher registers just as often. In my opinion, this attempt is a complete failure. While in the higher registers, his delivery is about as thin and nasal as I have ever heard on a metal album. After repeated listens to this album, this nasal delivery is downright obnoxious. While in the lower registers, his voice sounds authoritative and strong, but it's completely the opposite the higher he gets. I admire his efforts to diversify his vocal attack, but he simply needs to either work on singing more from his gut in the higher octaves, or simply stick with the lower, aggressive delivery which he is actually very good at.

With seven songs spread over 43 minutes, I found that songs such as Prisoner of Time and Unstoppable Motion wandered off on unnecessary and uninteresting tangents a little bit. It's pretty difficult for even a seasoned band to pull a 7+ or 9+ minute song out of their pocket that is coherent and well guided from start to finish. Some of the melodies that were surely intended to serve as memorable points to the songs fall flat, while others do manage to find a place in my memory. Again, not a bad start for such a young band, I'm sure they'll improve over time.

Madness to Our Method is a promising debut for this Irish quartet. They posses the raw musical talent to succeed, and they seem willing to take risks with ambitious songwriting. From the biography that I have read on this band, these guys seem devoted to their music, willing to work hard to achieve success. Having said that, I'm confident that their song writing skills will develop, resulting in more consistent songs. The production is muddy on this album, but again, this is easily corrected once the band establishes itself and gains experience. I hope that the lead vocalist will do something about his "over the top" nasally high pitched vocals. That is the sole aspect of the music that will put a ceiling on this band's success at this point.

Killing Songs :
Ethereal Journey
Mike quoted 63 / 100
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