Scar for Life - _Scar for Life_
(Independent, 2009)
by: Daniel Cairns (5.5 out of 10)
You know, when someone describes their band as being dark and progressive metal, you're going to get optimistic. This is a metal site after all, and by jove, we love all things progressive and heavy.

Scar for Life describe themselves as such. When obtaining their album, I was cautiously looking forward to it. "Maybe they'd sound like Tool!" I thought, hoping beyond hope. "Maybe a bit of Gorguts, or perchance a twinge of Mastodon!" The possibilities were endless.

Cue the first track, and what do we get? Bullet for My pissing Valentine.

Folks, word of advice: don't claim your band are something they clearly aren't. It's like Chad Kroeger claiming Nickelback are Powerviolence. It's bloody stupid, and will bite you in the arse.

Scar for Life -- save for an Opeth inspired inflection of folk on this record's latter half -- aren't progressive in the real sense of the word. They're also about as dark as an episode of "Lazytown".

When you get past the fact that it is neither dark nor progressive, you'll find a competent, occasionally enjoyable goth rock band, with the odd slightly heavy bit thrown in for tough guy kudos. Yes, once again, this is music for doing the ironing to. It is so gallantly intent on being uninteresting, that to be offended by it is impossible.

The music chugs along like every popular heavy metal band you've ever heard. The solos are tuneful and inoffensive. Things occasionally get a bit heavier, just to show that yes, they can rawk out. But not too much! No! That would be scary. The singer has a good voice, but he sounds like he should be in The Calling. The reviewer suddenly realises just how Budd Dwyer must have felt.

Once again I'm being extremely harsh. But when the highlight of an album is a "Blazing Saddles" sample, your band is in trouble. I'd really like to go through it track by track, but... I can't. I just can't. It's impossible to remember any of it after one listen. It's basically a slightly bleaker Papa Roach album. It's just so nice and inoffensive. And therein lies the problem.

This is focus group heavy metal. It's as if the band had a meeting and decided to create the least challenging music possible. Scar for Life wouldn't know genuinely dark and progressive music if it swung its big hairy sweaty balls in their well groomed faces. For even hinting they should be categorised as such, they deserve a prompt spaying.

So yeah, Scar for Life. It's OK, but it's just so indicative of how shallow metal can be. They might appeal if you're about fifteen and feeling a bit glum. If you are neither, you're better off sticking with something that has a bit more depth. Like an eight inch vagina.


(article published 15/4/2009)

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