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Review: Scythe - Subterranean Steel
Subterranean Steel

Label: Primitive Reaction
Year released: 2013
Duration: 44:02
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black/Thrash

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: September 26, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Subterranean Steel

Rated 4/5 (80%) (14 Votes)

Subterranean Steel is the second album from former Usurper guitarist Rick Scythe and his current eponymous band. If you read Scythe's website or Facebook page, you'll learn Rick is going for an 80s sound that incorporates Black, Speed and Thrash but, back in the day, one we simply called Heavy Metal. I've not heard anything by Usurper and I'm sure there are similarities between the bands but Celtic Frost is probably the most notable influence on Subterranean Steel's songwriting. The compositions and performances are loose and organic and the proto-Black growls even feature a few Tom G. Warrior "OOOOH"s thrown in for good measure. You can definitely pick out some early 80s Metallica and Slayer hints here and there but, in general, Scythe doesn't sound like many other bands I've heard before. Scythe mixes buzz-saw speed and crushingly slow riffs in good measure so the album never bogs down or gets boring. Sometimes the playing is bit too loose and sounds somewhat sloppy and the tortured growls and screams are a bit over-the-top on "The Grunting Dead," though with a name like that, I probably shouldn't be surprised. Of course, if I was in a cemetery and Rick Scythe screamed "welcome to the graveyard, motherfuckers!" behind me, like he does on "October Dies," I'd get the fuck out of there like a shot.

Subterranean Steel is a cool blend of the old and the new and doesn't try to sound like any one band or album from the "classic" period of Heavy Metal. It isn't as catchy as a lot of the stuff from the Golden Era but it is uncompromisingly evil, loud and heavy; enough to please plenty of fans.

Other related information on the site
Review: Beware the Scythe (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Subterranean Steel (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Rick Scythe (vocals, guitars) on May 26, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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