Scarab - Blinding The Masses
Osmose Productions
Brutal Death Metal
8 songs (38:11)
Release year: 2010
Scarab, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Death Metal from Egypt rather than of Egypt, newcomers Scarab seek a different path to brutal heaven than that trod by legendary Ithyphallic horde Nile. There are similarities, especially in the oppressive atmosphere, the classical strains of opening intro Into The Dunes... soon forgotten as a downtuned sandstorm of grunt n’blast envelopes you. First track proper Valley Of The Sandwalkers roars in like Morbid Angel at their finest, vocalist Sammy El Sayyed possessing the sort of deep growl that many bands would kill for, over a subtly melodic yet clearly intense burst of Brutal Death goodness. The entire band turn in a great performance, each doing his part; catchy in the right ways yet with a clear Eastern touch in some of the melodies that makes for a more interesting listen than most Death Metal bands would offer.

Fans of The Monolith Deathcult and, of course, Nile will be on familiar ground from the start – whatever the background of the members, expect nothing less than vicious extreme metal dedicated to obliteration of the listener. The riffing is grandiose yet deep, notable clattering drums from Hatem El-Akkad with a precise, almost Sandoval-worthy performance that incorporates plenty of wayward percussion to enhance the already rich tapestry, a suffocating press sure to smother any lightweights who have wandered by.

There’s little that isn’t enjoyable. Ankh may seem slower, but is full of that claustrophobic pressure on the listener, whilst the following Leaders Of Agony blasts into you without mercy, writhing like a decapitated snake. Scarab avoid extended soloing in general, preferring straightforward grunt n’blast over virtuoso showmanship – although you get the sense that the band are more than capable throughout. Immolations of the likes of the twisty turny title track will disappoint few, a clear grasp of what riff sounds good where making for a listen that is as fun as it is crushing. Fine, so as a whole the album may not be breaking any barriers, but it’s a fine first effort from a band that has to suffer more for its art than many western bands – just another reason why Blinding The Masses deserves your eartime.

Killing Songs :
Valley Of The Sandwalkers, Ankh, Leaders Of Agony, Blinding The Masses
Goat quoted 77 / 100
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