Scar of the Sun – Inertia
There is a proverb that tells us to “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. It dates back to the Trojan wars and still makes the occasional appearance. It doesn’t apply in this case though, quite the opposite in fact. Athens based Scar of the Sun are offering up their new album “Inertia” and I for one welcome it gratefully. I’m not the only one though as this, their third full release, has received ringing endorsements from fellow Greek musicians.
Sakis Tolis, guitarist/vocalist with Rotting Christ is quoted as saying “Inertia is a scar deeper than love! A scar engraved in your heart imploring you to listen to it again and again. Well done guys! You created something good in these wild times!”. While Seth from Septic Flesh remarked “With their new release Inertia, Scar of the Sun set the bar high for Modern Metal! They are Greece’s next export in the metal world. A band with the highest level of aesthetics both in terms of music and visuals.”
The band themselves describe the album as a fresh take on melodic, atmospheric, often progressively influenced metal. Vocalist Terry Nikas also recorded and mixed the album at Zero Gravity Studios in Athens. It was mastered by the legendary Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Dimmu Borgir) at Fascination Street Studios, Sweden.
The chemical element Hydrogen has an atomic number of 1. Whether coincidental or not, track number one on Inertia has the title of ‘Hydrogen’. A pulsing hum runs behind echoey guitars and drums, building to a crescendo in this short opening instrumental. There is a slightly ominous feel to it.
In the next two tracks, ‘Inertia’ and ‘I am the circle’ we get a partial taste of this band’s range of styles. Although there are angry vibes, there is also some melody and a great guitar lead break. By now, it is obvious there is versatility and talent on show here. They have other strings to their bow though, and these become apparent later on the album.
Scar of the Sun – Inertia (click here of the video does not play)
Scar of the Sun – I am the Circle (click here if the video does not play)
Much of the lyrical content of this album centres on the financial gain that flourishes at the expense of humanity. Affecting and sometimes destroying the livelihoods of everyday people. ’Quantum Leap Zero’ is a trilogy of songs that concern the disastrous and dramatic events in Greece around 2015. After suffering the longest recession in its history, the Greek government imposed a series of tax rises and spending cuts. This triggered local riots and nationwide protests. In the midst of all this turmoil, Scar of the Sun managed to release their second album ‘In Flood’ during May 2016.
‘Quantum Leap Zero I: Torque Control’ takes us into this nightmare world. It is a telling of the austerity and suppression. Musically it varies from the gentle and soothing to the harsh and biting. Mixed in with this are catchy almost singalong lines like “Cherish the flame, I feel the same’. ‘Quantum Leap Zero II: Transition To Turbulence’ is the chapter that speaks of rising up and revolution. This is faster in pace and heavier, with a mixture of vocal styles.
‘Oxygen’ has the rather alarming first line of “The stench arrived in a fancy box”. Despite this, it is actually one of the softer numbers on the album and is short but sweet. Oxygen has an atomic number of 8 but is track number 6, so that’s my theory out the window. Moving on, it’s back to heavier stuff with ‘The Fallible Experiment’ but again there is melody weaved into the song’s fabric. Part three of the trilogy ‘Quantum Leap Zero III: Thrust’ concludes this saga. It’s about the ultimate demise of the revolution. Greece’s debt crisis continues to this day and It has scheduled debt payments beyond 2060. The track is not only poignant and reflective, but also heart felt.
The album finishes with three hard hitters that are significantly different from each other. ‘Singularity Collapse’, ‘Zenith to Minos’ and closing track ‘Anastasis’. This is Greek for resurrection and is about the terrible pain of losing someone you love. An atmospheric start explodes into a lively riff with harsh but anguished vocals. So, a sad end to the album with the band putting agony into words and turning despair into emotive music.
At 43 minutes long, Inertia is a relatively short album but keeps you interested and never gets boring. Anger and melancholy make for an emotional rollercoaster, and these Greeks have it down pat. Where will they go next?
- I Am The Circle
- Quantum Leap Zero I: Torque Control
- Quantum Leap Zero II: Transition To Turbulence
- The Fallible Experiment
- Quantum Leap Zero III: Thrust
- Singularity Collapse
- Zenith To Minos