Release Date: Jun 11, 2013
Record label: Prosthetic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Prog-Rock
Review Summary: If "lush" were a genre, Scale the Summit would be its frontrunner.I heard Scale the Summit’s music described as “adventure metal” the other day, and it-- despite being a pretty ridiculous phrase-- actually does make a bit of sense. The band has always set its goals high each record, and charted where exactly it wanted the journey to both begin and end. This is why each of the band's albums has begun as confidently as its conclusion, and also explains the insurgence of Scale the Summit fans in the last few years.
While a lot of instrumental metal, with all of its neo-classical leanings, can feel a bit academic, Scale the Summit use create a series of instrumental adventures on their fourth album, The Migration. Taking listeners on a thrillingly technical voyage across an expansive and twisting landscape of searing riffs and thunderous rhythms, the band's style of metal is one that leans more toward the fantastic than the fearsome. For some listeners, the lack of vocals might be a turnoff, but Scale the Summit actually use it to their advantage, avoiding some of the pitfalls of prog-metal by being able to simply jump from part to part and explore a melody without needing to make room for a singer.
Progressive, the word by itself, is a brilliant description of Scale the Summit's newest album, The Migration. Never breaking stride, you're immediately pulled downstream into this river of energy and before you know it, the final notes on last track "The Traveler" have passed. This flow is a result of the group's ability to balance technical shredding and melodic atmospheric pieces; it is that sonic harmony that's responsible for the positive vibes resonating from The Migration.
The fourth full-length album from Houston instrumental-metal quartet Scale the Summit, The Migration finds the band continuing to develop a tasteful blend of atmosphere, groovy rhythms, and unabashed shredding. Standout tracks “Atlas Novus”, “Oracle,” and “The Dark Horse” combine the kind of beautiful melodies that evoke the band’s nature-oriented imagery with riffs heavy (and groovy) enough to get even Meshuggah diehards on board. Nevertheless, The Migration seems to wander a bit more than 2011’s focused and phenomenal The Collective, losing some steam by the last few tracks.