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Scale the Summit: The Collective

The Collective album by Scale the Summit is full of stunning guitar interactions, instrumental variations that will have you calling out for more. No sooner has this baby started your, world will be enriched. It is an album that is full of experimental, progressive and metal tones, technical in its approach, being created by these four very talented guys, who are by all accounts based in Houston Texas.

When you look at the instruments used Jordan Eberhardt (6 string bass), Chris Letchford (8 string guitar), Pat Skeffington (drums, percussion) and Travis Levrier (7 string guitar), tonally you just know that you are going to be rewarded. Levrier 7 string tones are impressive, giving that extended range, allowing a heavier detuned sound whilst keeping the full upper range available and in his hands it confirms that it's not just a nu metal instrument. Letchford's 8 strings also enable those jazz, classical movements, again having more room for manoeuvre. The band call on influences such as Dream Theater and Cynic, although you can hear varying other influences too, their virtuosity is without question, they power their way through these eleven differing instrumentals, rock based one minute, jazz inflected the next, bombastic and highly melodic in approach never being over facing or falling into the arena of insipid dullsville.

The larger than life opener "Colossal", the intriguing "Emersion", the stunning and impressive standout "Black Hills" and the uplifting melodic "Drifting Figures" is what makes this album worth investing time in. That's not to say that any of the other pieces not mentioned, should be forgotten, they have all their own uniqueness and are worth spending time with too.

This is a band that has musical prowess, three albums in, a very impressive third album indeed; which gets a massive thumbs up from me.

Track Listing
1 Colossal
2 Whales
3 Emersion
4 The Levitated
5 Secret Earth
6 Gallows
7 Origin of Species

Added: January 31st 2012
Reviewer: John OBoyle
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Scale the Summit: The Collective
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-25 14:39:07
My Score:

After the release of Carving Desert Canyons in 2009, Texas-based instrumental act Scale the Summit gained quite a bit of buzz in the prog metal community. Prompting a spot on the ProgNation tour with Zappa Plays Zappa, Dream Theater, and Bigelf as well as a spot on Between the Buried and Me's ticket with Cynic and Devin Townsend, you could certainly say that Carving Desert Canyons was a hit among prog and metal fans worldwide. Although that album (in my opinion, at least) feels a tad underdeveloped and immature, The Collective shows the band at their creative peak. The improvement by this band in the last two years is truly tremendous. If you generally enjoyed Scale the Summit's previous efforts, but would've enjoyed a bit more variety and melody, this is the album for you! The Collective is one of the best instrumental albums that this year has yet to offer, and is also among the best instrumental metal albums ever released.

The music here is similar to that on the previous two Scale the Summit albums, but with much more jazz fusion tendencies and melodic overtones. The Collective sounds like an extremely well-played, professional, and mature statement. If you're looking for a testosterone-drenched shredfest, you may be let down by The Collective. Songs like "The Levitated", "Alpenglow", "Black Hills", and "Drifting Figures" are all beautiful pieces of melodic prog rock, whereas tracks like "Origin of Species", "Gallows", and "Emersion" are heavy and technical, while still remaining the maturity and compositional prowess of the softer tracks. There honestly isn't a weak song on The Collective - every track is a memorable piece of instrumental prog metal. Of course, the musicianship from Scale the Summit is top-notch. These guys know how to play some of the most challenging prog metal music out there, yet still are capable of conveying power and emotion through their respective instruments. The production is also crisp and professional.

The Collective is one hell of an album, and surely Scale the Summit's most defining statement so far. If you're going to look into this band, this should be your first purchase. Seldom do I come across an instrumental album this professional, enjoyable, and all-around spectacular! 4 - 4.5 stars are warranted for this terrific achievement. This is one of the finest instrumental metal albums ever released.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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