January 27, 2011 | , | 4

Desultory, Counting Our Scars

Desultory: Counting Our Scars

Fourteen or so years ago, Desultory were on the rocks. Original guitarist Stefan Poge had left the band prior to the recording of Swallow the Snake — the release of which was met with a less than enthusiastic response. The combination of those two events and having fulfilled their contract with Metal Blade Records, Desultory disbanded (though the remaining members when on to form Zebulon and continued the sound of that last album).

As we’ve seen in recent years with the resurgence of metal in general, the band has decided to get back together under the Desultory moniker albeit without Poge. But, what would the newly reformed band sound like? Would they capture the energy and power of their earlier work or would long time fans see Swallow the Snake: Pt 2 — a Zebulon in Desultory‘s clothing?

As fate would have, Counting Our Scars, released through Pulverised Records, sees the band returning to form with a vicious, yet catchy blend of melodic Swedish death metal. Just what fans have craved for the past 14 years. And for those of you that still need convincing just let the opening track “In a Cage” wash over you with infectious guitar work, pile-driving drums and Morberg’s growls. If you need any further convincing, then you were never a fan. Nothing says “we’re back” like starting off your much anticipated album with arguably some of your best material.

The title track shifts sound a bit as it becomes a bit more solemn and darker, yet still carries a solid melodic element throughout it’s length. It features one hell of a solo as well (2:36). “Ready to Bleed” has a catchy groove that will have your head banging in no time. “Broken Halo” is a decent enough track with well executed drum work, but it’s got nothing on the song that follows. “The Moment is Gone” is going to be one of those classic songs by the band. The opening guitar work is melodic, yet still carries a twinge of melancholy as the guys settle into a slower tempo, showcasing their song writing abilities.

Once we’re through that instant classic, Desultory unleash “Uneven Numbers,” a song that has some sick drum work and a vicious bark from Morberg. The track leads into a string of songs (“Dead Ends” and “Leeching Life”) that are more up-tempo and aggressive, but still bring with them a solid melody and infectious gallop. Album closer, “A Crippling Heritage,” has an epic sound to it as it build momentum from the start into a mid-tempo clip. It’s a pretty strong song to end a comeback album with.

Counting Our Scars is a great title for any band’s first album after a lengthy amount of time apart. It’s indicative of the band’s intentions, delivering an album that not only the fans will enjoy but one that also serves as a bit of therapy for the members. I mean, what better way to heal and get re-aquainted with one another than by playing the music you all love.