Scars – Predatory
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 57:35
Review by Victor Augusto
I know that the Heavy Metal industry is not always fair with bands, no matter which part of the world they’re from. If you live in a country like Brazil, where the industry is a nest full of snakes and this kind of music is not even close to being popular, it can be even worse. Just playing good music is not enough. Bands must give their lives working on it, but like everything in the world, this nasty scenario brings a positive side. This hostile environment can be a beacon to guide us to find bands who have survived their passion throughout the years. For those who know the history of Scars, you will understand that this band is a pure example of persistence and loyalty to their fans and to the local scene.
The band has been on road since the 90’s with two long hiatuses. The first one ended in 2004 when the band had huge success with the incredible “The Nether Hell”. The second one finished in 2018. Now, Scars have finally delivered the gift that their fans have been waiting for, for so long! A gift called “Predatory”. Probably the most mature and complete album from them, it carries a mix of everything the band have done so far, but with new and improved elements. The band sound thirsty for blood, as always, but with enough experience to know what to do or not do in their music. The heaviness, and everything from good Thrash Metal, is very well balanced, and they have incredible technique.
The title song ‘Predatory’ opens the album, and it’s immediately possible to feel the blast of the purest Thrash Metal that we (fans) all know from Scars. As well as all the incredible riffs and a little bit more groove this time, I felt that the band have also taken some further steps. I am talking about Thiago Oliveira’s solos. He has brought virtuosity to the band without losing the furious side of the solos. He and his partner in guitar, Alex Zeraib, provide a masterclass when riffs are the subject, considering it’s the band’s trademark, as you can hear in ‘These Bloody Days’. João Gobo shows incredible drum variations that go from classic Thrash beats to fast double kicks, but it doesn’t let the music become overpowered by the heaviness. ‘Beyond The Valley Of Despair’ is a slower song, but it is perfect to explain the versatility of João.
Régis F. is even better in his vocal interpretations with the concept of human beings destroying themselves and the entire world around them. Even in ‘Ancient Power’, that has some massive cadenced and strong riffs, he shows all of the aggressiveness of his voice, screaming full of hate. Marcelo Mitché has his highlights too, when his independent bass lines appear and increase the groove, such as in the great song ‘The 72 Faces Of God’. This is a song that flees a little from the strong punch but is still an immensely powerful track.
Another new element in Scars sonority, at least for me, is what you can hear in the instrumental song ‘The Unsung Requiem’. It reminded me of the sort of things Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen might play, but with a dark and hellish atmosphere. Again, it is obvious that Scars have worked hard to increase their technical side. I don’t remember anything similar to this song in any previous Scars albums. The amazing harmonies in the beginning of ‘Ghostly Shadows’ is another example that demonstrates what I’m saying. It is like a guitar shred influence, without sounding exacerbated or repetitive.
As a fan, I think back to 2005, when I read many interviews and good words about Scars, for the first time. After listening to this record, I still have the same impression about the band that I had 15 years ago. That we are looking at one of the most honest and persistent bands from Brazil. They have survived this ‘predatory’ industry, despite some adversities throughout their career. Their desire to be strong and relevant is connected to their respect for the fans. It is enviable, and probably a good source of energy to keep strong in front of any issues. This passion and truth will inspire people who take this music seriously. “Predatory” is another Scars’ masterpiece. A lesson in Thrash Metal, and it shows that Scars are definitely back!
02. These Bloody Days
03. Ancient Power
04. Sad Darkness of the Soul
05. The Unsung Requiem (Instrumental)
06. Ghostly Shadows
07. The 72 Faces of God
08. Beyond the Valley of Despair
09. Violent Show
10. Armageddon (Bonus Track)
11. Silent Force (Bonus Track)
Régis F. (vocals)
Alex Zeraib (guitars)
Thiago Oliveira (Lead guitars)
Marcelo Mitché (bass)
Joāo Gobo (drums)
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.