Scale The Summit – The Collective Scale The Summit – The Collective

Scale The Summit - The Collective

I first heard of Scale the Summit through an online metal thread inhabited, mostly, with progressive rock fans. This fact of the story is only important as the level of imperative worry is so much greater with progressive rock fans. Albums that are missed or not given enough attention bring great woe to the progressive rock fan. In their mind, a great album alleviates some previously unknown pain which resides in everyone and thus makes life greater for it. Understanding Magma or finally hearing Camel’s first three albums allows a listener to breathe cleaner air. This is the response I received when I said I never heard Scale the Summit’s 2009 Carving Desert Canyons. Not only did I receive a slew of YouTube videos but people offered to come over to my house and guide me through my first Summit experience. This of course could be hyperbolic or true to the last detail.

Scale the Summit is an instrumental rock band with shared loyalties in the post metal and progressive rock camps . In fact their inability to be classified neatly has given all the more reason for a shower of praises. The band has humorously coined the term “Adventure Metal” to describe their music. “Adventure Metal” may seem silly to some and fucking asinine to others but the term does have some value which of course, I will discuss later. The Collective is the Texas group’s third album making another strong foothold in the unclassifiable, (suspiciously instrumental-Prog) category.

Scale the Summit fits better as a progressive rock band with a heavy low end than the other way around. Songs on The Collective are constructed around the progressive template with sparse instances of heavy “metallum.” One could think of the heavy parts as mountains and a blazing eagle guitar solo flying from peak to peak. To add to this, Scale the Summit’s desire to fill every inch of this record with complex rhythm and timing pushes them into an obvious direction. “The Levitated” offers smooth noodling and a Jaco Pastorius inspired ending giving the song and album a certain “enlightened” hue. The Collective has elements of Dream Theater, Michael Angelo Batio and Russian Circles sanded to a smooth, formless, finish.

Then there is the question of the “metal” aspect. There are certainly heavy parts. Yet the heaviness of the record is manageable and without any trace of aggression or interest. The double bass kick and distortion merely carries the songs to the next Pat Metheney solo or Terry Bozzio drum fill. But then again, the sheer heaviness of Pelican’s The fire In Our throats Will Beckon The Dawn or Isis’ Panopticon may not be the end goal for this band. But then one more time there is the problem of “Adventure Metal.”

I understand the term “Adventure Metal” may have been used in jest with little knowledge regarding the difficult process of approving Heavy metal subgenres. (There is a lot of paperwork and trips to notaries.) While the members probably used the term instead of sounding unseasoned to a demographic of fans they have little idea what they just did. I associate the term “adventure” with Doc Savage and other Pulp era comics and dime store novels. “Adventure” implies scripted danger, treasure and at least one instances of traversing a crocodile pit. If Scale the Summit wanted to use the term “adventure metal” to imply occasionally heavy music feuling an intrepid journey filled with discovery and unbelievable plot lines, then yes, I believe I could sponsor that motion. Now, I will just have to file the paperwork with the Heavy Metal Patent Office and wait 90 days for my signed return copy. You have no ideas what you just started boys.

1. Colossal
2. Whales
3. Emersion
4. The Levitated
5. Secret Earth
6. Gallows
7. Origin Of Species
8. Alpenglow
9. Black Hills
10. Balkan
11. Drifting Figures

Scale The Summit - The Collective, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-04-06T11:05:16-07:00 rating 3.4 out of 5

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