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The Scum – The Hunger

The Scum
The Hunger
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 June 2022, 6:52 AM

THE SCUM is a death metal band from Colombia who formed i 2013.  "The Hunger," is their second full length album; they have also released two EP's. "The Hunger," is, simply put, one of the most uncompromising and ferocious death metal albums I've heard this year.  The sound is rooted in OSDM but covered in a lair of bloody grime.  These buzz saw riffs also have knives attached to them—the guitars are just absolutely deadly to the point where it is nearly palpable. But the songs aren’t just about the power of the almighty riff.  Julián López and Mauricio Aristizabal provide an impenetrable section of rhythmic foundation but they can direct the ebb and flow of the music when needed.  This is important because it keeps the songs from all sounding the same and the interest levels high.

Santiago De Los Rios Cardona is the master of the riff but Mateo Tabares’ lead guitar is definitely note worthy—the lead work is consistently amazing by complimenting the songs but also standing out on its own. The atmosphere itself is sinister and brooding, taking their heavy for the hell of it approach and making it a horrifying listen loaded with a constant feel of fear, loathing, and trepidation.   Vocalist José Fernando Ospina adds a lot to this, actually.  His vocals are downright disgusting and sound like a mix of blood and gravel being shoved down someone’s throat while they gasp for air. The album opens with “Winds Of The End,” which gives the listener the basic idea as to what the rest of the album will sound like. Other dynamics appear later on but it is a good bet that if you like this song, you will like the rest of the album.  Within the first minute or so, the band displays their knack for putrid but catchy and groovy riffs.  The guitars are cemented in by the bass and then hammered down by the drums. Once the vocals hit, the song picks up the speed with the rapid release of beats from the snare boosting up the vocal attack.  A rumbling of drums and bass kicks the song further into gear as the band settles into a weaponized groove.

I Drink Your Blood And I Eat Your Skin,” begins with a short but biting guitar solo that funnels the whole band into warp speed, ripping and destroying all the way down to the next guitar solo.  After its face melting performance, the band’s groove grows and grows, allowing maximum riffage while giving breathing room for the lead guitar to work its magic. The title track is one of the best songs on the album and also one of the most intense—and that is surely saying something.  The density of the song is felt immediately; it sounds like it is constantly at the breaking point.  Around the fifty second mark, the band slows down a bit to introduce some death sludge—my head space went dizzy as the bass seemed to fill up my ears.  I just love the middle segment of the song: those slow, massive riffs coupled with the blazing lead guitar.  I don’t know if death metal is called epic a whole lot but this part sure is.

Just when I thought the band was singular in their vision, “Withering Faith,” surprised me with its opening approach.  Subtle keys and clean notes begin the song’s journey—this whole movement is well done and works well for the band’s atmosphere.  The rest of the song is a mid paced romp with huge bass tones and pounding guitars.  Despite the different sounds put together in the song, the flow is smooth and nothing feels forced. “The Death Of The Light,” contains some of the best riffs on the album.  These riffs build up over the first minute until the drums push the vocals into this maddening sea.  The cadence and groove of this song is powerful  but the last thirty seconds or so really stand out.  The tone, feel, instrumentation…they really bang it out at the last second for a strong finish.

The album saves the best for last:  “Forsaken,” and “Rogue,” couldn’t be more different from each other but they work together to end the album on a dynamic high notes that display what the band is truly capable of. The former begins slow and somewhat cinematic.  The sludgy riffs cascade out as the vocals alternate between deep, deep cleans and deeper death growls. The song keeps its slow speed but the guitar solo is faster paced and a potent combination of melody and being technical.  The latter is a blistering display of how well death metal makes guitars work with a sterling drums/bass combo.  Even for an album such as this, “Rogue,” is a specially intense song that doesn’t ask for mercy nor does it have an ounce to spare.  The riffs get more evil as the song goes along, broken up only by the guitar solos that cut through at the perfect moments then end at just the right time to let the song collect itself again.

THE SCUM’sThe Hunger,” is a gargantuan achievement of old school filth.  It may not win over people who already don’t like the genre but if this is your style of choice, this album will give you all that is needed plus more.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Winds of the End
2. I Drink Your Blood and I Eat Your Skin
3. Burial
4. One Of Them
5. The Hunger
6. Withered Faith
7. The Seal
8. The Death of Light
9. Redemption
10. Rogue
Julián López - Bass
Mauricio Aristizabal - Drums
Santiago De Los Rios - Guitars
Mateo Tabares - Guitars
José Fernando Ospina - Vocals
Sergio Gallego - Guitars
Record Label: Wild Noise Productions


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