Review: “Self Titled” by David Scafidi

One glance at the Death Metal style artwork of the debut EP from David Scafidi and you might think you know what it’s all going to be about, however one should never judge a book by its cover. A solo project from a multi instrumentalist and vocalist who studied guitar performance and recording at Musicians Institute where Chris Broderick (Megadeth, Inflames, Act of defiance) was his private instructor, the record is also that of a seasoned musician who has been part of Acidious Mutandis and Toxins who currently plays in shred group Blastfinger. Suddenly in a sentence the expectations have risen from something that has the potential to be an underground classic that might be as raw as they get, to something that should be a little more polished…

Packed with flavours of “Where The Slime Live” era Morbid Angel the opening Old School Death Metal cut “Dark Square” shouldn’t catch you by surprise given the cover art, however it hits like a slap in the face from a woman scorned. Schizophrenic vocals with an echo effect on them flow from the mouth of a madman who rants and raves in both the harsh spoken word reminiscent of “Punishment” era Biohazard and throat splitting evil as if he has become momentarily possessed. There are flavours of Old School Industrial Groove too with Ministry or Prong coming to mind with the drum sound on this one and the whole thing sounds like a polished demo from tape trading days with all that nostalgic quality that others would die for. “Fingers of the Goat” is less polished and sounds a little on the raw side of things, the pummelling kit work and bowel clenching lows of the vocals decimating the weak. A sweeping solo is masterfully done, keeping the quality high and launching fireworks from the fretboard; it has to be said the quality of those is something maintained throughout the record. Stepping away from the short sharp punishment beating “Escape from the Pit” opens up the arteries once more with a cut plays on the saying that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Razor sharp riffing and bursts of blast beats are accompanied by film sampled screams in the final third as this monstrous cut plays out in style. “Psycho Logic” isn’t actually part of the EP but a cut released a month prior as a stand alone affair. It is however worthy of mention so where better to mention it than here? Vibrant riffs galore accompanied by a chanted cleaner vocal style during the verses, it is a step away from the cuts on the EP but still has that same dark edged approach and a ripper of a tapped solo. As a record, this one has pretty much everything a fan of Old School American Death Thrash could want and there will be plenty who want to hear these songs live… [7.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Dark Square
  2. Fingers of the Goat
  3. Escape from the Pit
  4. Psycho Logic*

Self Titled” by David Scafidi was released on 18th December 2023 via Black Tar and is available here.


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