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Sceptre - Age Of Calamity

Sceptre
Age Of Calamity
by V. Srikar at 22 February 2014, 4:13 AM

Now I have never shied away from expressing my love for Thrash Metal, no matter whether it's old school or new school or Crossover. And my country India has produced its fair share of Thrash bands like KRYPTOS, THEORIZED and THREINODY. And because I listen to so many diverse Thrash bands every day I tend to be harsh in my judgment of any new Thrash thrown at me! And SCEPTRE is a name I was never aware of and there is a valid reason for that - they were on a hiatus for a very long time. Formed in Mumbai in December 1998 nearly 15 years ago, this is only their 2nd album and they don't necessarily cone across a old school riff based Thrash band as you might expect before pressing the "Play" button.

The riffs are blunt and remind you of many other bands like DEMOLITION HAMMER and WARBRINGER. Though the album is full of fast paced riffs, it gives you enough time for you to headbang along. The vocals are more of the screamo style, but do no mistake it for any core Metal vocals, because these vocals somehow just perfectly blends into the heavy aggressive angry music these guys bring about. The music has progressive elements all over it combined beautifully with the thrashy riff marathon. Due to the progressive elements involved in here, I find that the drums were found wanting and were somehow caught behind in pace of other instruments and just didn't do justice for the rest of the music. The bass is quite audible, though does nothing extraordinary. The technical riffs all over the album is all something you will realize is nothing new, but them combined with the unique vocals and the progressive elements as  mentioned earlier help you to get through to the album without feeling being struck in the middle or feeling monotonous. My favorite song of the album is song number 5 "Lake Of The Traitor". Its starts out with a beautiful melodic sound before bursting into a Thrash attack. Two of the songs - "Solitude" and "Judgment day (End- A New Beginning)" are just slow instrumental tracks bringing a bit of diversity to the album. I have to mention an interesting point here: the 1st song of the album "Solitude” as mentioned above is not just acoustic, but you will also hear the audio clips in Hindi taken from real news channel which speak about the problems of women and women empowerment in India which give you an idea where this album is going lyrically and the album cover art emphasizes the same. Another notable song is the bonus track "Lest We Forget". It’s got melodic riffs all over the song helping me headbang even while I was sitting. The album cover art underlines the lyrical content and the theme of the album, but I for one am not too impressed and the production is not top notch and has places to improve.

The album as a whole is a bit refreshing in this age of unidirectional Thrash albums that you find these days. What stood out and impressed me in particular in this album as a whole are the fast aggressive riffs of the guitars, which also manage to sound blunt and sharp at the same time. The only major problem I have with this album are the unusual riffs and at times the progressive feel of this album doesn’t help to consume the feel of the music, and the album as a whole doesn’t have any ground breaking riffs that I expected ,especially from a thrash band coming after such a long break. It remains to be seen if these guys will remain active in this volatile metal scene. They remind me of ONSLAUGHT, not musically, but in bringing out an excellent album after a long break.  Hope to catch up these guys live soon. Come to Bangalore boys, Hahahah!

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Solitude
2. Age of Calamity
3. Wrath of God
4. Prophesy Deceit
5. Lake of the Traitor
6. Fatal Delay
7. 7 Seals
8. Parasites (of the State)
9. Judgement Day (End - A New Beginning)
10. Lest We Forget
Lineup:
Gilroy Fernandes – Guitars
Aniket Waghmode – Drums
Janus Sayal – Bass
Samron Jude – Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 13 December 2019
 

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