I remember when my son was younger, we bought him some of that ‘sensory’ sand. It was supposed to help develop his motor skills, but it ended up just being a fun time making castles and seeing how much we could smoosh into the carpet. This is what comes to mind when listening to Scabbard’s release, Beginning of Extinction. There are some eerie elements in this release, and they are probably what sets it apart from the rest of the releases that are similar in nature. There was an element of the Video Board game Nightmare that I couldn’t ignore (if you don’t know what that is, you better look it up), and I mean this in a nostalgic and positive way. The riffs are killer, the voice is deep and disturbing and the drums push the songs along. Even the bass gets its own mention in this release. The beginning of Extinction seems to be a mix between the glory days of Death mixed with a bit of Opeth. A great mix if you ask me.
However, while I am a huge fan of all this experimentation, it does feel like the vessel to communicate the album knocked off some of its shine. It’s kind of like the difference between talking to someone through an old Nokia vs the latest Samsung (sorry, not a fan of Apple, get over it). It’s disappointing because the production does let what would be an undoubted gem in the crown of conceptual death metal, down. Kind of like what happens after you’ve finished playing with the sensory sand, and you realise that the vacuum cleaner can’t get the stuff up. I still think it is worth a red hot go, however. Suitable for those who have enough patience to peel a grape before eating it.
Release Year: 2020
Label: Awakening Records
Country: Czech Republic
Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri