Review: “Mass Failure” by Scordatura

Over the past fifteen long years Glaswegian Death Metallers Scordatura have thrown six EPs and a trio of full length albums to the baying hounds with the quartet Daryl Boyce (Vocals), Derek Wright (Bass), Owen McKendrick (Guitar) and Tam Moran (Drums) paying more than just homage to their heroes in Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus and Aborted. 2013’s “Torment of the Weak” saw them share stages with Nile and decimate the weak on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock before making an appearance at the Berlin Deathfest. 2017’s “Self Created Abyss” opened more doors with a wealth of European touring including appearances at Rennes Slam Fest, Deadsoul Deathfest before US shows in Long Beach, Denver and Salt Lake City. Now it’s time for album number #3…

…whether it’s a concept album or not, “Mass Failure” tells the story of the downfall of humanity after the aftermath of a deadly virus and was recorded, mixed & mastered by Samuel Turbitt at Ritual Studios (Inebrious Incarnate, Ageless Oblivion, Unfathomable Ruination) while having cover art by Mark Erskine of Erskine Designs (Display of Decay, Hideous Divinity, Irreversible Mechanism). Opening up with “Disease Of Mind” which puts the Scottish quartet firmly in the Brutal Death Metal bracket with intense crushing riffs delivered at breakneck speed and Boyce ensuring his lyrics are audible by not getting simply as low as he can; it’s clear they are a refined outfit. They’re also no afraid to lower the pace and build atmosphere, the final crushing segment going low, slow and heavy before the onslaught of “Skin Trophy” kicks in. A ripper of a Death Metal track, it also has a solid groove that breaks up the pummeling of the relentless rhythm section that wants to beat you into submission within the opening minutes of the first round of the fight. “Nothing But Dust” proves that the band don’t need a twin guitar attack to create some lethal riffage as it grinds your face into the dirt. Short bursts of blast beats keep the energy high as each song combines the old school muscle with the precision of a laser targeted missile. There is no let up with “Contorted Existence” offering up intensely driven moments an some caustic backing vocals that belong on a Black Metal album. The use of samples is clever, setting a black and white horror film atmosphere before the bludgeoning begins…

…Wright gets a couple of bass drive moments, the one at the opening of “World Devoured” is particularly choice on a cut which showcases the skills of the rhythm section with Moran delivering his stand out performance of the record, it’s complete obliteration, a seething rage of blind fury behind a red mist that unleashes a plague upon an unsuspecting World. Grinding bones to dust “The Flesh That Hates” has the essence of “New American Gospel” era Lamb Of God with McKendrick’s shredding guitar work while Boyce’s voice sounds like a holocaust wind from the throat of a plague bringing demon. His use of pitching on this cut, offering up a second, shriller voice for parts, gives the appearance of two separate vocalists as he strikes with lethal force. The galloping title track “Mass Failure” attacks in bursts of trauma with each wave giving a fleeting respite before going back for the jugular with venomous intent, a final segment slow down offering a break for the breathless circle pit. Offering up a horror film esq story of slitting the throats of the enemies, “Immense Atrocity” is a bludgeoningly violent tale that would grace any album of this ilk, it’s wrathful tones matched by the musicianship that takes them up to the level of the award winning The Flaying. Incidentally, there is nothing on this album to indicate that Scordatura are Scottish except the spoken word at the end of this song. The skull crushing “Collapse Of Humanity” is the bone juddering finale of a breakneck bullet train ride of unadulterated carnage that cuts short that little bit too early. There are plenty of nuances in the mix that do get lost on the first listen but really do come out and bite you over multiple listens, so listening again is an absolute must  [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Disease Of Mind
  2. Skin Trophy
  3. Nothing But Dust
  4. Contorted Existence
  5. World Devoured
  6. The Flesh That Hates
  7. Mass Failure
  8. Immense Atrocity
  9. Collapse Of Humanity

Mass Failure” by Scordatura is out now via Gore House Productions and is available over at bandcamp

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