In 2004, Scale the Summit was formed. Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier met while attending Hollywood’s Musicians Institute. Pat Skeffington soon joined on drums and Jordan Eberhardt contributed with the six string bass. Together they self-funded and released their first album Monument in 2007. With minimal lineup changes and Prosthetic Records signing them, Scale the Summit is now about to release their fifth full-length album appropriately named V.
Scale the Summit is commonly referred to as an instrumental rock band, and falls into this category often. When experiencing them though, there is no denying, there is a strong metal influence. This drives the band to create special and monumental pieces that bridge the gap between rock and metal in a way that abandons the "rock rules" and ventures into passages that were made for those who desire more than simple hard rebellious music.
For those unfamiliar with Scale the Summit, this four man band from Huston, Texas is similar to Animals as Leaders, who are alumni of Prosthetic Records. The differences are great, but the same theme is discovered. The purpose and emotion elicited is not that of shredding the faces off of the fans, but more of performance designed to deliver refreshing musical selections that are not written, but crafted. There are guitar solos, strong bass segments, and quick, precise drumming, but not in the fashion of the brutal carnivorous attributes which are fairly common in metal.
The songs are very distinguishable. The progressive facets are evident, this is made clear through the way the songs are crafted. For example, "The Winged Bull" keeps a moderate, even tempo that charges through the first three minutes, gradually building through mini guitar solos, repetitive riffs that chug at comfortable rhythmic pace, and a bass presence that seals off the full bodied experience. By the time the final minute commences, a more riveting form of composition reveals itself, easily identifying with the previous three minutes and being a tame, but satisfying closure to an excellent opening track.
I'm no audio engineer, but the production is an interesting mix. All instruments seem to be very clean and tight, except the lead guitar. The lead seems to possess a raw power and feel. It sounds as if it's being played live, and you're watching the performance unfold. I feel this adds strength to the album, as the lead guitar is often the driving force on most songs. Its rougher sound ties in the remaining acts and complements the surviving parts. "Blue Sun" is an excellent example of this, and a personal favorite on V. "Blue Sun" is one of the more distinguishable tracks, with each section of the song being a dedicated course to a five course meal. At over seven minutes, the dinner that is "Blue Sun" will satiate, but not over burden the listener with the undesired bloated feeling. The courses are delicately presented so the listener is able to consume and digest the complexity of every detail, with a desire for what's to come.
On September 18th, Scale the Summit's V will be available to consume. With every fine piece of work, the patient observation and evaluation will yield a greater experience. Don't expect V to come alive and speak to you on the first listen, allow it to feed you the reasons why it will be one of the best instrumental albums of 2015.