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Last month, I cooked an omelette for the first time. I’d never made one up until now, so I thought I’d give it a whirl and see if they’re worth the effort. Reader, I cooked a perfect omelette on my first try. Spurred on by this, I tried cooking a fried egg, something else I’d never attempted. It too was perfect. I discovered, in that moment, that I had an unrealised ability—I am the egg whisperer, an absolute natural at cooking with yolk, blessed with a divine ability to interpret those subtle signals which personify the perfect egg. Why am I saying this? It’s because analogies are difficult, and it’s always nice to get something right on your first try. Exactly like Scathed have done with their debut EP, Where Truth Occurs.
Based in Dublin, Scathed are becoming part of the city’s metal scene in a pretty big way, nabbing sold-out support slots with Halestorm last year and Dead Label several months past. Not too bad for a band who were yet to release an EP. Now, with Where Truth Occurs on Spotify, you too can listen to Scathed from the comfort of your own home (or hotel, if you’re in Dublin).
Metal, as a genre, falls risk to “same-yness”, or a habit of making safe moves and treading well-worn paths. Scathed have a fair bit of brass balls though. You can hear influences and techniques cherry picked from the whole spectrum of the metal world. Vocalist Ainsley Kavanagh can sing the soaring Gothic metal notes you’d hear from Lacuna Coil or Flyleaf as easily as she can deliver gritty, riot grrrl-esque growls.
The guitar work on this album is beautiful as well. ‘Induce The Fear’ starts with chugachugging that sounds like taking the piss out of Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s fun and melodic but it’s got a bit of bite to it. ‘New Hollow’ uses some out-there guitar tones that feel nu-metal inspired and highlights the band’s songwriting depth. There’s a real whirlpool of styles on Where Truth Occurs—it’s refreshing.
More than that though, these are just well-constructed songs through and through. There’s a journey in each track, particularly ‘Compromise Me’, which skips merrily between wildly varying styles like a kid in a dress-up box.
Production here is A1, which feels rare for a metal EP. Drums are crisp as hell too, a big relief. Cymbals can be so overbearing on a poorly produced record, but a combination of tasteful writing and solid production serves Scathed well here. The guitar work is phenomenal too. I’ve already praised ‘New Hollow’, but the solo towards the end revived my crops, saved my village and helped birth my firstborn son. It was very good, is what I’m saying.
It’ll be exciting to see what the future holds for Scathed. An EP is good, but it’s just a sexy lil’ teaser for what a band is really capable of. A little slice of pie, except the pie is a clumsy metaphor for potential. With such a powerful start, it’s all at Scathed’s feet for the future.