This young band from Ireland was recommended to me by The Miskatonic Foundation's Rich Walker, saying 'their sound is like a mix of JAG PANZER/ICED EARTH and SLAYER. Very energetic and well executed.' Of course that's right up my alley, so I got in touch with the band at once, and I subsequently received a copy of their self-released debut CD. SCAVENGER was formed in late September 2001, when three ex members of DISORDER joined forces with the ex drummer of CISCO PIKE. They started writing new songs right from the start, and by early December 2001 they were ready to enter Co. Meath's Fatdog Studios, to record these eight tunes, with Brian O'Shea behind the mixing desk. The layout is a bit basic, and the lyrics are not reprinted, but that's what you get with independent debut releases. As long as the music rules I'm happy, as I don't really care for looks at all!

Anyway, SCAVENGER are hard to describe accurately, but I guess nobody's going to argue with me when I categorize them as a pure heavy metal quartet, with hints of speed and thrash at times. The keyword here is versatility, as most of the songs consist of plenty of twists and turns. The band claims to be influenced by the likes of MEGADETH, CARCASS, AT THE GATES, IRON MAIDEN, DEATH and BLACK SABBATH, amongst others, but apart from the vocals occasionally reminding me of Dave Mustaine, I'd say it's all rather original. If those influences are there, they're not too obvious at all! The material on offer here ranges from mid-paced to fast, with some slower parts being thrown in as well. Including some melody and always quite powerful, without becoming power metal though. My personal faves include Waited Too Long, Breaking The Chains and War Cry, the fast opening segment of which is totally reminiscent of 1980's heavy metal. Shadowed Lands and Slaughter Of Innocence are the most variable songs on display, while Fall Out is the only thrash tune, including a slower middle section. All in all a very promising debut, but one that they could easily improve on in the future. Speaking of which : a follow-up is in the process of being recorded and is set for a late May 2003 release. Looking forward to hearing it with impatience already!

Eddy Vermeiren

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