LEAVE SCARS - THE ARRIVAL (Independent)

 

                          (Review by Patrick De Sloover)

Leave Scars is a Belgian band that won their spot on the prestigious Graspop Metal Meeting 2013. As one of the winning bands of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam, they earned 30 minutes playing time together with opponents Hexa Mera and Komah on the eve of the 18th. edition of Graspop. Due to severe traffic jam, I wasn’t able to get in time on the holy festival ground, which resulted in a missed chance to see this band live. In the end, I will get another chance, as they will play at the indoor festival of ‘De Verlichte Geest’ in Roeselare (October 12th. 2013).

Leave Scars was found by vocalist Dizzy and guitar player Filip Verstappen in 2005. Their idea was to create a band that refers to old school Thrash Metal and quit with the fun-metalband DOA. After the usual lineup changes and demos, the band is now ready for their first full length album, named ‘The Arrival’. Leave Scars are still unsigned, so the take care of the promotion and distribution themselves. What we get on ‘The Arrival’ is a varied summary of Thrash Metal spiced with lyrics that handle about murder, violence and horror.

The intro takes about 20 seconds to switch in an uptempo thrasher ‘Painted Scars’. You hear a band that is eagerly waiting to unleash their horses and when the vocals of Dizzy drop in, I had a little dated feeling. It’s like this album was recorded years ago which gives a sound that could fit to early 90’s recordings. But at the same time, when you progress through the album, it doesn’t leave a bad feeling behind. You really get used that the vocals are mixed into the background by Benjamin Peters. This dude was also responsible for the artwork and design of this album, but seems to be no member of the band. Anyway, the next track is called “Reason To Kill” and this one opens rather modest to explode in heavy riffing and an uptempo headbanger!

“Unit 731” continues as a slow opener, but again, Leave Scars wants to speed up things, so within one minute all hell is breaking loose. I like this way of arrangements, as it adds variation to the songs. You never know what you will get and isn’t it wonderful to listen to great breaks and hooks in metal songs? “The Son” continues with outstanding guitars of Djoni and Paul, while the rhythm section of Ath (Bass) and Nonkel (drums) create a massive wall of sound. Leave Scars recorded 10 ‘real’ songs that all contain enough aggression and violence to entertain the people during their live gigs.  So if you are looking for a great Thrash metal album with no fillers, I would suggest to give Leave Scars a try. Lyrics of the songs aren’t included in the booklet, and if people ask me what kind of musical influences can be mentioned, I would say Nuclear Assault, a little Metallica (listen to the chorus line of ‘Trapped’), and I would prefer to mention American thrash metal bands instead of European acts like Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. Exactly this un-European sound results in an original approach of this Belgian band, and makes them stand out of the masses.  

The title track of the album is the final song and the beginning of this track is really slow, if you speak in terms of ‘Leave Scars’. But again, the guitarplayers sharpen their skills with deadly riffs!  Probably, this song can be considered as the best song of the whole album, and it’s rather unusual that a band keeps their best for last. It makes me hungry for more, so I decide to push the ‘play’ button once again and start all over!   https://www.facebook.com/Leave.Scars

My rating:  85 / 100

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95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish