Between the Buried and Me have proven over the past decade-plus that fusing devastating metalcore grooves with prog-styled intricacies can yield extremely interesting results, but on the whole, I feel that the 'progressive metalcore' label still has plenty of untapped potential. Though other acclaimed acts like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Born of Osiris, and The Contortionist have also approached 'core' music with a progressive mindset, it's my opinion that this niche subgenre has yet to experience the widespread creative explosion heard in the progressive variants of death or black metal. And it's a real shame, as promising young acts like Switzerland's Scars Divide prove that aggressive, punchy metalcore grooves can lend themselves really nicely to technically demanding, structurally progressive, and surprisingly melodic compositions.
With this self-titled EP from early 2014, Scars Divide hit the gates running with a professional production, extremely competent musicianship, and a general knack for crafting tracks with a true sense of momentum. The band rarely falls into the 'breakdown' trap that kills a number of otherwise decent metalcore releases for me, but even when they do utilize down-tempo djenty grooves, it serves as a way of adding aggression to the piece rather than interrupting already existent momentum. Tracks like "Salt, Ice, and Fire" also feature some really strong melodic touches, and although the EP only clocks in at under 28 minutes, there is enough diversity here to make for a fully satisfying listening experience.
Scars Divide is an impressive debut statement from front to back, and it really makes me curious to hear what these guys will offer when it comes time to release a full-length album. With an EP this promising and professional sounding, one can only predict that Scars Divide have some cool tricks up their sleeves. This one is recommended to fans of groovy and progressive metalcore!
1. All That We Need
2. Three Meters Sixty
3. The Venom Of Leviathan
4. Whispering Shores
5. Their Own Demise
6. Salt, Ice And Fire