SCALPTURE "Eisenzeit" CD (FDA Records 2020)
Emerging from the wider surrounding of death dealers Evoked in the industrial juggernaut of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, Scalpture turn out to be a surprisingly individual take on true-and-tested genre formulas.
While the members were doubtlessly raised on a diet of Bolt Thrower with two big spoons of Dutch and American fare respectively, it’s clear from the outset that Scalpture’s second full-length is its very own beast. As a musical narrative unfolding during the ravages of World War I, "Eisenzeit" ("iron age") does not once plumply glorify armed conflict and heroic violence but displays a peculiar depth.
Whereas compositionally, it focuses on atmosphere first and foremost with mini epics such as the two-partite 'The Storm Ebbs into Stalemate' or the chillingly melodious 'Yperite', frontman Thorsten seems to tear his heart out as if during his history studies, he’d been forced to relive the soldiers’ pain.
At the very least, he makes his cautionary tales frightfully topical; just listen to the hymnic elegy that is 'Hinterlandsymphonie', the dramatic closer 'All Quiet on the Western Front' and, in particular, the blasting inferno of 'Und Ehre ist's' ("and it's honour), which subtly questions the morals of yore - an era from which we apparently fail to lean to this very day.
Add to this highly emotional mix a monstrously powerful yet crystalline sound devoid of any shallow "vintage" references, and you can be sure that Scalpture are going to actively shape the future... however militant it might become.