Band Site: https://thescourge-us.bandcamp.com
I saw the Houston, Texas three piece live in 2018 when they opened up in support of Dirkschneider.
In 2019 the band released its long awaited LP “Warrant for Execution”. This album should appeal for any metal fan, but it specifically caters to those that particularly like new wave of speed/thrash. The band consists of Andrew Atwood (lead vocals and guitar), Alex Erhardt (drums), Garrick Smith (bass and vocals).
Fans of Texas metal would recognize Andrew and Garrick as the rhythm and bass guitarist in the current lineup of James Rivera fronted speed metal band Helstar.
The hidden secret, at least to Helstar fans, is that Andrew is also a very accomplished songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist, and on this album, he puts all these talents to very good use. Musically, The Scourge places itself in the midst of the late 80s speed/thrash metal movement, with some nods towards traditional metal. Fans of early Testament, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Annihilator, Exciter and Accept will find a lot to like here.
Production-wise the album falls along the lines of a mid-80s Testament record. Not brightly and super polished as a modern album, but with clearly discernible and accomplished musicianship.
Overall, the performances are terrific, with some really interesting instrumental flairs thrown in right from the start. “Progressive Forms” opens up with a thrash attack, reminiscent of Nuclear Assault that morphs into a jazz jam, which then picks right back with a smoldering guitar solo. There are a lot of other standout tracks, including the title cut “Warrant for Execution”. Considering Andrew’s vocal range, some of the overly-shouty Nuclear Assault choruses seemed to detract from the music in places, and could have probably been better if he sang more. I guess that pits the Nuclear Assault vs more traditional metal peeps on the fence, this particular reviewer would rather hear more vocal melodies.
Stellar performances and a great band to look out for in the future.
Reviewed by A. Dorian