Album: Feast – EP
Imagine an enormous table, stretching for miles and miles until it escapes your eyesight, seemingly rounding the curvature of the earth. On it is an expertly prepared meal—a never ending banquet—of every snack, drink and dessert you’ve ever had. Every morsel of food you’ve ever tasted and thought, “wow, that’s not bad” is there, begging to be devoured. If you’re like me, within seconds, you’re face deep in the first bowl you see. That’s exactly what awaits the listener’s ears at the onset of Feast, the debut EP by Texan heavyweights, Scavenger. This young quintet pick scraps from a collection of carcasses representing deathcore, hardcore, beatdown and death metal to create their brutalizing, bone-splintering EP that is an aptly named feast of all things heavy for fans of frenzied, aggressive music to gorge themselves on.
Feast‘s musicianship is best likened to a large slab of aged, dense meat, drizzled with touches of groove and catchiness, served with a side of punchy aggression and finished with a garnish of subtle technicality. Percussionist JP Moore serves up a large portion of Scavenger’s rich, meaty substance; as he hammers away with a low, thick kick drum and enormous, resonant toms that are colorfully contrasted by bright cymbals and a razor sharp snare. From the first whack of “Hunger,” Moore expertly oscillates between slow, churning beatdown patterns and quick, cracking blast beats and fills that throw the listener a sucker punch. Moore balances the two with careful ease and with the practiced talent of a veteran funambulist, sure not to favor one side of his multifaceted style over another. “Patience” showcases this beautifully, also illuminating the incredible interplay between Moore’s percussion and Zach Cox’s crushing bass grooves. Cox’s low, snappy bass teams up with Moore’s murderous kick drum to provide a low end heavy enough to flatten the listener, and energetic enough to keep Scavenger moving forward. Moore and Cox’s low end refuses to let Feast stagnate, lingering too long on a given beat-or-breakdown, letting guitarists Austin O’Brien and Chris Burgess do what they do best: annihilate. “Settle,” along with the rip-roaring “Consume” display O’Brien and Burgess at their finest, circling the listener with tedious riffs and enormous grooves before swooping down to devour them with disastrously heavy breakdowns. O’Brien and Burgess take Scavenger’s immense, brooding beast and add teeth to it, making as vicious as it is intriguing.
With such a glorious meal of meaty, malevolent musicianship present, there is only one thing missing—the gnashing of teeth and carnal roars that signal its ingestion. Vocalist Ryan Miracle is the harsh, gritty roar and magnificent mid-range bark that tears hunks of flesh from the listener and devours them without rest or remorse. Miracle is the perfect compliment to Scavenger’s gritty instrumentation and makes Feast truly delicious. “Settle” sees Miracle at his best, reigning with gritty low growls and harsh mid range hells—yet “Consume” sees him combining his yells with those from Daniel McWhorter (of Gideon), and “Examine” sees him holding his own alongside Rex’s legendary barker Anthony Alexander. While Miracle’s own vocal work may seem relatively predictable at points, it works in excellent tandem with Scavenger’s instrumental backbone and the well-picked guest appearances to keep Feast fresh for even the most voracious listeners.
Scavenger unleash a no-frills-attached, no-holds-barred beatdown Deathcore frenzy on the listener. Feast may not take its name from the variety of styles and sounds Scavenger employed to create it, but rather from the voracious appetite it has for the listener’s sanity. Scavenger attack the listener with catchy one-liners and brutal instrumentals that dive at the listener as if the band hasn’t eaten in weeks. Beginning with the softest, fleshiest appendages on “Hunger,” by the time the listener reaches “Consume,” there is practically nothing left of them, as Scavenger have picked every scrap of tissue from the listener’s skeleton and left their bones to bleach in the Texan heat.
Full-to-bursting, you’ve had all you can manage of the heavy-as-hell buffet Scavenger have prepared. You find yourself exhausted, weak and gorged from hours of gluttony—just the way these Texan titans want you before they dig in with teeth bared, a Feast in every sense of the word.
For Fans Of: Rex, Deity, 2×4, Genocide District
By: Connor Welsh