Reviews

Scavengers Circle, Beyond Repair (Masasiorangutan Records, 2019)

Vastërås, Sweden... the icy clime from which this D-beat unit hails is as unforgiving as their apocalyptic sound. The crust punk predators recently dropped their debut EP, Suppression of Information, with a forthcoming cassette release via Masasiorangutan Records.

Much has been made the last couple years of the “stadium crust” sound and Scavengers Circle are here to obliterate it. Neither epic nor clean, these songs are a committee of vultures divebombing head long into their carrion. This is top tier D-beat that peddles brevity in gruesome fashion. They charge in, talons at the ready with Suppression of Information and wreck the place a la Wolfbrigade, biker gang vibes intact. They keep the gas pedal firmly depressed throughout the opener and it’s a thrilling blitz. 

Fittingly, they dubbed their second track “Endless Winter," a subject I’m sure they’re familiar with. Yet, the supercharged Motörhead riff that births the madness has more in common with a white-hot inferno. Like all bands worthy of the Dis- tag, they stampede relentlessly but what truly elevates their sound is the knowing nod to classic death metal. Aside from the odd flash of guitar shred buried beneath the mix, the vocals would play well in either camp. The low end rumbles accordingly and the guitars find time to shine their obvious talents.

Feeling far more Asphyx than Discharge, the singers both bellows and gurgles with the best of ‘em. They also fit a great bass break out of the Disfear playbook. Bleak is the only word suitable to describe the lyrical content. Seemingly bemoaning their abundant months of snow and ice, someone might need to check in on these dudes. Ripping way to open. 

The subsequent title track incorporates additional vocal flair, tacking on a higher register that flirts with the desecrated corpse of black metal. It’s an welcome but unhinged addition to a calculated genre beatdown. Sonically, there’s  a clever false finish at the midway point, with a fade out that instead leans back into their mid-tempo bludgeoning. Scavengers Circle are here both at their most raging and most straightforward. Truly a blaze in the Northern sky. 

“Engulfed In Famine” drops menacingly low and bruising, feeling a bit like a crustier Bolt Thrower or, as I’m a Martin van Drunen devotee, Hail of Bullets. They steamroll at a tank’s pace and, when paired with blast beats, the runaway sprint is all the more exhilarating as a result. Scavengers Circle, enlightened or not, excel at a caveman stomp. Just don’t try to outrun the Mammoth. 

Elsewhere, the final two tracks comprise an inadvertent mini-narrative. “We Summoned a Demon” and closer “Feeding the Monster” suggest that, despite the oops, we decided to keep the baby. The former feels almost triumphant despite decrying the monolith of inhumanity we call our collective world leaders. The latter starts with a death 'n' roll Entombed feel, before devolving into another d-beat banger. The single note lead is pitch perfect. Alongside their standard wallop of crusty galloping, they again throw in isolated bass runs and genre-specific tom drum fills that threaten like the wake of feeding vultures they reference. 

Less scavengers than pillagers, these Swedes will decimate if given the opportunity. This is a crushing entre into the world of D-beat that sits well alongside the more metallic and savage end of the spectrum that’ll have you dusting off your Warcollapse, Nuclear Death Terror, and Driller Killer LPs. As they are essentially ghosts on the socials, get ‘em on their Bandcamp to keep tabs. Sporting stenchcore-approved art, there’s no mistaking the scratchy black and white aesthetic for anything other than crust. Band tested, reviewer approved... this shit rules. 

Tagged: scavengers circle

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