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Review: Scala Mercalli - Border Wild
Scala Mercalli
Border Wild

Label: Heart of Steel Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 60:00
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: August 7, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers Rating
Border Wild

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

Lineup changes and other production issues are always a pain in the ass. When a band tries to commit to moving forward, those kinds of problems can test the beliefs and undermine the motivation of the participants. It's a drag, but no one can control it.

One of Italy's long running acts, Scala Mercalli, has experienced firsthand how those issues can affect their ability to keep a presence in the local scene. Formed in 1992, the band released a couple of demos on their way to their 2005 debut for AB Records, 12th Level. Four years later, and with a new banshee of a vocalist, Scala Mercalli released their second album, Border Wild, for Heart of Steel.

On both albums, Scala Mercalli shows their affinity for American metal. Not the new stuff, of course. Their material is old school all the way. And not just one style, either. These Italians touch upon Heavy, Power and Thrash, all based on the American recipe. That's what makes Border Wild as good as it is. Besides being influenced by the American old school, there is also a noticeable British Metal feel to the music. It's like finding Maiden, Metal Church and tons of other old US bands on the same playground, giving Scala Mercalli a lot to cover with their music.

Two amazing factors of the band's music are worth noting; their solos and the overall production. With their experience in making music, the guitarists knew exactly what each song needed, whether it was a slower, emotional one or a fast-paced shredder in the style of Iron Maiden. As for the production, it sounds as if the album were recorded in the 80s. Thin crunch guitars with bass guitar all over them, mayhemic drumming with an excellent snare sound and crushing bass drum trill. Lastly, there is the overflowing vocal line leading the other instruments to the Promised Land.

Scala Mercalli clings to the classic genres of metal and step out of their European influences for a trip overseas. Border Wild is a good release and hopefully only the beginning for these Italians. Even after 18 years of making metal and despite their problems, this can't be their best offering. If the band keeps up the good work, they will eventually release their star record.

Highlights: "I Will Stop The Time", "The Sense Of Reality", "Only Rage", "Border Wild", "Midnight Sun", "Pain".

Other related information on the site
Review: 12th Level (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: My Daemons (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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