Scale the Summit “Carving Desert Canyons” (2009)

It has always annoyed me when bands invent a new genre for themselves. More often than not, it’s a poorly constructed attempt to gain recognition or make yourself out to be pioneers of the next great metal movement. Scale The Summit are unfortunately one of the bands which practice this farce, calling themselves “Adventure Metal” for self-evident reasons. But in this case, I don’t care, they can do whatever the hell they want, just as long as they keep releasing albums!

STS – as they will from now on be conveniently known – play a very unique style of Progressive Metal; they are technical but never cross the dreaded wankery-line (coined), they are unbelievably melodic, atmospheric, emotive, organic…they just do everything right.

Guitars are played by Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier, names I doubt anyone who hasn’t heard the band will know. In fact, I doubt many will know any of the members here, as this is all of their first breakthrough metal bands, all being around the age of 22. You may think after reading this that they will be inexperienced and lack the maturity of developed players. You would be wrong. Playing a combination of 6- and 8- stringed guitars, these guys are masters of subtle sweep picking and arpeggios, moving use of tapping techniques and just general fret-work. The lines are all very musically interesting, but so melodic that they stick in your head even after one listen. Solos are very few and far between, and even during these the guitarists hold back, not losing any of the effect built by the previous sections and keeping everything very structured.

One thing I always love in a Metal band is when you can easily make out what the bassist is doing, and STS fill this niche nicely, with Jordan Eberhardt contributing very nice backing for the guitars and sometimes coming forwards more and really giving the music depth. I also received a hand written note from him when I ordered the band’s first album – Monument – back in 2007, which is always nice to get.

Pat Skeffington does an absolutely stunning job behind the kit here, the tone of the drums complements the music completely and he contributes some very interesting fills and massively creative rhythms. If he were alongside any other musicians he would steal the show completely. They’ve also fixed the main problem I had with the last album, which was the very highly mixed bass pedal, it was like a constant beating metronome in the background, so I’m glad to see that gone.

I really do love this album, it is accessible, but intelligent, melodic, but not cheap. I’ve seen their name thrown around a fair bit recently, and I hope this continues and that they get every bit of the success that they deserve. Recommended to anyone willing to give them a listen.

-Simon Brand


Release:  2009
Label:  Prosthetic Records
Avantgenre:  “Adventure Metal”
Duration:  39:51
Origin:  USA
Official site:
Review online since:  23.06.2009 / 22:17:59


01 – Bloom
02 – Sargasso Sea
03 – The Great Plains
04 – Dunes
05 – Age Of The Tide
06 – Glacial Planet
07 – City In The Sky
08 – Giants

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