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This September has seen the release of Austrian Extreme Metal group Scarecrow N.W.A´s fifth full length album, Transgression, on which the band once again brews a unique Death Metal concoction. The album name already indicates the changes, which have taken place in the sound of the band since the release of the predecessor, Ishmael, in 2009: For the first time the nine new tracks don´t contain any keyboard sounds or other samples. One reason for this is that keyboard player, Orestis, left some years ago, another that the band wanted to achieve a more reduced and authentic sound.
However, the Austrians´ music never gets boring and they can do more than just play hard and fast all the time – although they do that quite a bit on this record – they prove with Transgression that heavy passages perfectly fit with intricate melodies. Moreover, vocalist Bernd convinces his audience with energetic growls and expressive clean vocals and, thus, generates much diversity in the songs. Still, tracks like Transgression, Technology Of Death and At Dead Of Night are above all straightforward head banging songs.
Pros: The mysterious cover with its mixture of antique and modern elements was fashioned in collaboration with Brazilian digital artist Caio Caldas (CadiesArt.com) and definitely stands out from the mainstream of metal covers. The bonus track, Scarecrow´s Song, seems at first a bit unusual, however, that makes it all the more interesting. It starts as an acoustic ballad with a distinct campfire atmosphere, which slowly morphs into an epic metal song with strong power, or rather true metal references (“Heavy metal will survive…“).
All in all, an exciting Melodic Death Metal release with some highlights (especially the songs, in which singer Bernd uses both growl and clean vocals), but also some songs which aren´t quite as thrilling. There is definitely still room for improvement for Scarecrow N.W.A, hence ‘only’ 8/10.