I want you to picture a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland, covered by heavy clouds and low lying fog, massive decaying skyscrapers dropping slabs of their structures to the ground below, crushing the aging and rusting cars on the ground. Now envision the city’s square, trees and grass in a winter state, no leaves, no color just cold and empty, in the center of all of this there is a band creating heavy, fast paced technical, twin guitar riffs making the buildings around them fall more with every double bass punch and palm-muted guitar strum, a vocalist belting out lyrics with no restraint or care for his vocal cords, but as the city falls around this band, the clouds break, light peeks through radiating on the band, the sound of an angelic voice fills the air as the band continues to release their instrument’s full potential, Do you see it?
That’s exactly what I pictured in my head when I listened to melodic dark death/thrash metal band Scenario II’s sophomore album A New Dawn. The release opens with “The Darkest Hour,” a very cinematic, film score inspired composition, the type of music you would expect in a major motion picture release. As the sound builds, the intensity develops as well and then the album’s title track “A New Dawn” drops, throwing insane twin riffs at you from guitarist Mark Van Doren, showing his technical ability, mixed with bass heavy drums from Bas Van den Boom. The anticipation grows as Myrth van Beest’s soft voice blends beautifully in with the strong instrumentation, molding the atmosphere for lead vocalist Bas de Kruyff to unleash his powerful vocals to create balance on the track – and this is just the second song.
The entire album is a complete masterpiece of musicianship, technical and vocal abilities, creating a one of a kind listening experience. For me the highlight of the release came towards the end with the 8th song of the 11-track album, the 11th song being a tribute to In Flames with Scenario II’s cover of “Stand Ablaze.”
The 8th song, “Endgame,” was by far the standout track for me. It opens with a single fast paced guitar, then the guitar’s evil twin kicks in mimicking the riff, add a constant bass punch from the drums as the song builds and then the brutal vocals punch in, building constantly with multiple instrument breakdowns. But that’s not all this track has to offer, at 3:26 the song does a complete 180 back to the opening riff, giving way to the amazing voice of Myrth bursting through the heavy tones, giving the song a complete, full and balanced sound.
For any fan of Melodic Dark Death/Thrash Metal, you will not want to miss this release when it officially hits the market on February 17th, 2017, I promise you that you will not be disappointed when you give this one a listen.