Scars by The Resistance will probably go down as one of the most ho-hum albums of 2013. I’m just going to get that one out of the way before I get further into the review. The Resistance is a fairly new band having only put out one EP before this debut, so it’s not like I had high expectations of them. A death metal band hailing from Sweden; their sound is decidedly more metalcore and less straight up death metal – chugging riffs and a few breakdown-like sequences are peppered throughout the album. Last year showed that metalcore was alive and well, with excellent albums from God Forbid and Parkway Drive; but I’m sad to say that Scars falters almost from the start.
Like I said before, Scars definitely leans more towards the -core side of metal but they bill themselves as a death metal band first. Lower-tuned, fast paced chugging guitars are the name of the game for most of The Resistance‘s debut album. This wouldn’t be a problem if the guitars actually did interesting things, but they don’t. Riffs all sound the absolute same, and seem to lack any sort of layering to make it anything more than a straightforward affair. Samey-sounding riffs and a lack of layering and interesting details mostly makes Scars seem like a big wall of music trying to sound as angry as possible, and little else. Flashes of Hatebreed-esc vocal stylings show up in a few songs also, but fail to capture the same sort of energy that they do on their albums.
Drumming might as well be nonexistent; the only times you’ll ever notice them is if you’re trying to actively pay attention to them. Otherwise, they’ll just blend into the music as another wall of noise. Furthermore, none of the instruments actively work together in any sort of way. They don’t compliment each other, they don’t add anything to each others experiences, nothing. It’s a shame, since drums are probably my favorite instrument to listen to in metal albums – a good drummer can really elevate an otherwise bland album to at least interesting. If you couldn’t tell already, this doesn’t happen on Scars.
Usually when you listen to albums, there’s at least something you can find that you like about it. Whether it’s the drumming, guitars, vocals, song-writing – usually there’s something there that you can grab onto and say, “Hey, this is pretty neat”. Scars, sadly has none of that. The biggest thing that kills you about what The Resistance has done, is that it’s all so mediocre. Listening to Scars is like getting out of work late at night, and heading to your favorite fast-food establishment only to find out that they’re closed for some reason. “Ah shit, Taco Bell is out of beef. How the fuck does a Taco Bell even run out of Beef? Guess i’ll just get Wendy’s since it’ down the road. Whatever”. You arrive home disappointed, and don’t even enjoy the Wendy’s. The Resistance, like your Wendy’s, is just a disappointing experience. If you like this type of music, there’s just much better bands that you could be listening to.