About every two to three years, a band comes along that I have never heard of that absolutely overwhelms me. A few years ago, it was Volbeat that came out of nowhere and really struck a chord with me. Most recently, that Halestorm record just stays in my player and gets play several times a week. Following an impressive performance at ROCK ON THE RANGE as well as a very fun hang with them after their performance, a new band has jumped on my radar. That band is Scorpion Child. With interest, their self-titled release found it's way to me a week after ROCK ON THE RANGE, and it's been stuck in my player (and my head) ever since. As of today, July 9th, 2013, SCORPION CHILD is the metal album of the year in my eyes. A new band for me to follow religiously has been launched to the world.
Defining what Scorpion Child does is not very easy, to be honest. I think that might be why I like them so much. They have a lot of 70s rock vibe to them; think Led Zeppelin (specifically in their powerful, driving riffs that push songs like "Liquor"). There's another element to their music which rings true of the greatness of late 90s/early 2000s stoner metal bands like Orange Goblin or Sheavy. Once that's got you all confused, they take it even farther and throw an epic, arena-like song that just grows in intensity at you ("Antioch"), which is without question the very best rock/metal song that I've had the pleasure of experiencing this year. I can't say enough about this band, and how intensely great their debut is. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the first time I heard APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION; not for the sound of the band, but for the way they took so many great rock ideas from the 70s and rocked it up into something completely their own. Vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black has a truly incredible voice. He croons his way through songs like "In The Arms Of Ecstacy" with just enough grit to make him compelling, yet leaving no doubts at how great his voice actually is. As a guitar band, Christopher Jay Cowart and Tom Frank are not overplayers. Rather, they provide big, fat old school riffs that are sometimes roaring like something out of an 80s metal shredfest, and at other times have much more of that gritty vibe which provides the "dirt under their nails" vibe that makes you want to throw back a couple of shots and rock out to these guys in your local dive bar. They come together beautifully throughout, with songs like "Kings Highway" and "Polygon Of Eyes" sucking you in from the moment the music starts playing. They are powered on the bottom end by drummer Shawn Paul Alvear and bassist Shawn Diettrick Avants; both of whom keep each song thumping forward. Alvear is especially good, and their producer gets 10 stars for the gigantic drum sound captured throughout the disc.
PITRIFF RATING - 98/100 - I'm probably 200 releases deep at this point this year, and nothing has hit me quite as hard as this release. Scorpion Child are a young band that will no doubt get better with time. Even if they don't, I'll have this release in my player until I drop off the planet. Big sound, classic elements, pure rock without a lot of frills, effects and studio magic, SCORPION CHILD is by far the most recommended album my keyboard will write about this year. Discover them today.