Album: Scumprophet – Split EP
In the best, most pure and violence sense of the word, Scumprophet is positively putrid. If you haven’t gathered it from the lead, joint-effort single or the reputations of either band (or the members of either band, by extension), then I don’t know what there is I could possibly tell you to convince you of its comprehensively evil approach to heavy music. On one hand, Hollow Prophet—lead by Ben Duerr and rounded out by Luka Vezzosi and Jack Simmons (Within Destruction and Acrania/Slaughter to Prevail respectively)—do exactly what they do best: slam, riff and chug until there is nothing left. On the other hand, there are the relative newcomers, Scumfuck, spearheaded by vocal legend Dickie Allen and bolstered by instrumentalist Andrew Zink. Scumfuck takes on a more symphonic and atmospheric approach to otherwise unholy music—keeping the amount of brutality consistent with Hollow Prophet, but using different weapons and a different tactic to bring it to the listener’s ears.
The result? A split that feels as fluid and natural as an EP by a single, incredibly diverse band—but still variegated enough to remind the listener that, while the two work excellently together, this is still a figurative “meeting of the minds” of some of the greatest forces in contemporary extreme music.
Scumprophet begins with Hollow Prophet’s contribution to the split, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more eviscerating and explosive way to kick off a release. With Vezzosi’s vicious blasts and insane footwork on “Carnage Amidst Carnality” and his precise, stuttering breakdowns throughout the ensemble cut, “Scumprophet,” Hollow Prophet have an insane foundation from which guitarist Jack Simmons can build from. Simmons—known for his work in Acrania and Slaughter to Prevail—continues to bring nothing short of Grade-A, USDA approved beef with his contribution to this otherworldly split EP. Again, the ruthless intensity of the EP’s title track reigns supreme, but truthfully the entire front half of the release serves as a stellar example of Simmons’ ability to bring riff-tinted, fast-paced and dense devastation to the listener without delay or remorse. “Voracious Human Grubs” sees Simmons’ fretwork a titch faster and more tedious than the opening heavyweight, “Carnage Amidst Carnality,” but the two are simply different sides of the same coin, completing the musical soundscape needed for frontman Ben Duerr to truly shine. With every release, Duerr continues to grow in both range, articulation, intensity and endurance—Scumprophet is absolutely no different, as the title track is quick to remind the listener. I feel as though it suffices to say that Duerr has worked tirelessly to earn a top spot in heavy music’s vocal “pecking order,” and with his continued work in Hollow Prophet, he easily holds onto that spot while edging out countless newcomers. In short, Duerr is the cherry on top of Hollow Prophet’s already immaculate take on brutality—a vocalist whose talent simply can’t be argued.
I’m sure at some point in my not-so-distant future, someone will pull up this review—with my name on it—in some kind of interview for a professional position and just tilt their glasses down their nose at me, likely because of Scumfuck’s name.
My point? Fuck it—worth it.
Scumfuck is the latest geyser from which Dickie Allen’s infamous voice streams forth, and with Andrew Zink by his side, it’s as heavy as you can possibly imagine. Carrying the torch of tremendous brutality ignited by Hollow Prophet on the split’s front half, Scumfuck soldier on, boasting a more symphonic and atmospheric style of skin-splitting aggression, using “Goblin” and “Sewage” both to combine slamming intensity with orchestral touches and a huge, thick mix to drop the listener’s jaw to the floor. Allen’s vocals are up to his insanely high standard—and I don’t really think there’s much more than needs to be said there—and Zink’s musicianship is gritty and gut-busting, ranging from speed to sludgy, sinister and crushing slams that feel as though they could shake the earth. Scumfuck’s contribution to Scumprophet is another testament to a combination of several styles of heavy music to make something that manages to feel familiar enough to lure the listener in, but fresh enough to keep them coming back for more.
Ultimately, Hollow Prophet and Scumfuck could be the next iconic duo—think Black & Tan, Andy & Ollie, Penn & Teller, Jon Mess and whoever happens to be doing the singing in Dance Gavin Dance—the list goes on. Scumprophet is refreshing—as refreshing as it is ruthless—and is bound to keep the listener hooked for spin after spin.
Hollow Prophet: 5/5
Total Score: 9.5/10
For Fans Of: All of the aforementioned bands the respective members of these bands are in. Also Ingested.