Review by Krys on March 6, 2004.
You have to hand it to them, Scarve can deliver energetic, high-octane tunes but if you blend Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah and Fear Factory you wouldn't expect anything less, would you? Labeled as technical thrash/death metal with a mechanic edge (an element not so prominent), Scarve delivers a very firm sophomore release, "Irradiant," but to my slight dissatisfaction they don't quite take it above what today's metal scene has to offer already.
They scream, they growl, they rip their instruments with relentless fury and they do it well, but the biggest problem with "Irradiant" is that it has been done before. Granted, they do a more convincing job of it than most, but if the two best songs are the very last ones it makes me think why couldn't they deliver the whole album like that? Why is it that the clean vocal lines on 'FireProven' and 'Boiling Calm' are so amazing that they make me scream, yet the ones on 'Mirthless Perspectives' make me want to hit the skip button? Not that the 'Mirthless Perspectives' is a dreadful song, far from it, but little details like that make Scarve a second tier band that until polishes those nuances it will have a hard time joining the top list of the genre. It might look like I'm picking on Scarve, but I'm not. "Irradiant" is a very solid release that will sit well with fans of technical and varied death metal, but I guess it's just a matter of opinion when 'solid' can be not enough. Undoubtedly, this is a step forward from their debut "Luminiferous" and it will solidify Scarve's position on the market but I truly believe we haven't seen best Scarve yet.
Maybe I've just grown tired of bands rehearsing same patterns and not using their potential to the fullest extent and I know Scarve doesn't. There's too much good music on this CD to throw it on the shelve but at this same time it's not enough to make it blow my mind off. One word review: solid. Nothing more nothing less. You be the judge.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7 out of 10