Scimitar – ‘Where Darkness Dwells’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Marc Leach   
Monday, 04 September 2017 04:00

Scimitar artworkWARRIORS! *Cough* sorry about that folks, sort of a force of habit, fact, why am I being sorry? We are talking about one of Northern Ireland’s leading thrash metal bands, the mighty Scimitar here. After two successful EP releases these young bucks from Belfast are here to bash your skulls once again, this time with their debut album, ‘Where Darkness Dwells’.


When it comes to their music whether it’s live or recorded, Scimitar take their listeners to war. Once you get past the dull ‘Sands Of Sorrow,’ the second you head lead vocalist Jonny Gray’s spit at the start of ‘Hinterland,’ a cold shiver will shoot down your spine for this avalanche of track that showcases the unreal musical talent of the band. There is no need to stand to in the sun and wait to defrost though as drummer Ryan Atkin’s drum fills will break the ice as the lads take you to the ‘Cursed City;’ a thunderous piece of music that is bound to destroy your speakers. The one thing so far about this album that keeps twitching at my soul is the mix because, while the musicians have sounded fantastic so far, the haunting five minute ‘Sleepy Hollow’ just falls flat on its face. This is a shame, as it’s the one track where the lads experiment with their sound as they tell the story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman, especially through the spooky clean introduction from guitarist John Thompson.


Thankfully the lads pick themselves up again for without a doubt the strongest pieces on the album, ‘Behead The Beast’ and ‘Unholy Forger.’ From Thompson’s face shredding guitar solos to the once again fantastic rhythm section from Atkin’s and bassist Chriz Baird, all of which will leave any listener want to start a mosh pit wherever they are listening to this song. ‘Back To War’ brings the album to a close (where the new material is concerned) the rare use of growling vocals during the chorus helps add an extra dimension to explosive piece of material.


As great as this album is we now come to the biggest downfall, their cover of Motörhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ which is in tribute to the late and great Lemmy Kilmister. While I can understand why the guys added in this rendition, it just leaves a sour taste after eating a healthy portion of thrash metal. This can also be said for the live recording of ‘Scimitar’, which was taken during their set at Thrashersaurus in Norwich: this may give the listener a sample of what the band sound like live but it would have been better to hear the proper live mix rather than the audio ripped from the YouTube of the performance.



Once you get past the lacklustre finale of the album and the indecisive mix (especially where the vocals are concerned as the vocal mix is awful) good listener, this is an enjoyable album. For those of you who cream over old school trash metal, from Onslaught to Overkill, then this is the album for you as Scimitar put on a performance like no other throughout; with riffs, drum fills and vocals that spit blood right in your face, yes folks, this album has all the makings of a decent thrash album.


‘Where Darkness Dwells’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.


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