Even though Cult of Scarecrow is a relatively new band with just one EP prior to their debut proper, most of the guys behind this moniker are all veterans from the Belgian metal scene. Starting out as Dead Serious before they turned into Die Sinner Die. This was all way back in the early nineties. Fast forward to 2017 when the troupe got back together and re-baptized themselves as Cult of Scarecrow on the base of the second song they had newly written together again . A self-titled EP with four songs was the result. Now three years and a world pandemic later, they have construed their debut full length under this new banner.
Stylistically, they’re not so easy to pigeonhole. There’s a wee bit of thrash in there still from their yesteryears, but mainly this is simply nineties styled heavy metal with a lot of groove, grunge and a touch of old school doom metal. Not that any of these tales are actually really slow, it’s more the rumbling Black Sabbath-like bass that will remind you of the doom of yore. That is one of the main differences with the EP which adhered much more to doom’s typical slow-mo tempo.
This difference will in part come from the new drummer Nico Regelbrugge who likes to kick up more of a racket than his more stoner oriented predecessor. Maybe not doomy per se either, but the vocals for sure ingrain the songs with a sense of sinister brooding as their lead singer Filip De Wilde sounds like a Flemish version of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley, which brings in this grunge aspect from way back in the nineties.
So all in all, this is a very versatile record that won’t let itself be cornered into a particular gene. It retains a unique sound without coming across as an incoherent patchwork of its individual influences. Opener ‘Sacrosanct Men’ is perhaps the most doomy of the lot, sounding almost like a classic Candlemass tune. ‘Lazarus’ allows for some more possibilities for the newly added keyboard player Robbie Eelbode to shine along with some virtuoso guitar work. It’s got an almost progressive feel. On the powerhouse that is the third track ‘Robotized‘ Filip’s vocals stand out specifically with some cool singalong backing vocals in the refrain “Surprise, surpise. You’re All Robotized!”.
‘Doorkicker03’ starts out with some neatly done samples of actually some of their old songs playing on the radio before a news report leads in this tale of murderous massacre. Some of their best songs are tucked in the end. ‘This Blood’s for You’ is heralded by church bells, choir singing and an organ before it turns in another heavy handed grunger, while ‘Sameness’ is a particularly ominous slow burner and ‘Own Worst Enemy’ is even a rather bluesy ballad to round off the album in style.
They’ll be opening the Darken The Moon evening at our very own Asgaard on September 3 for a gloom filled evening of doom. So don’t miss out on this chance, now that there are finally gigs again!
Release Date: September 10 2021
1. Sacrosanct Men
4. Pitch Black
6. This Blood’s for You
8. Own Worst Enemy