The Mark of Excellence

Scale The Summit

Carving Desert Canyons

> > Apr 2009

Scale The Summit - Carving Desert Canyons
By Chris AyersInstrumental prog metal can be dense conglomerates, which Dysrhythmia, Canvas Solaris and Don Caballero craft as exemplars of the subgenre. Texas-based Scale the Summit choose to elevate their guitar noodlery with increased atmosphere and melody on their second album, Carving Desert Canyons. What began as fast friendships while attending L.A.'s Musicians Institute has become one of prog metal's few real buzz bands, thanks to the muscle'n'flow of their 2007 self-released Monument debut. Cynic and Atheist are obvious touchstones but the album's tonal quality is more akin to Dream Theater and Steve Vai. "Sargasso Sea" and "Bloom" are melodic aggro prog with metronomic drumming and guitar chords that build and crescendo in movements. "Glacial Planet" and "The Great Plains" approach Rush with no bombastic aftertaste. "City in the Sky" makes the Fucking Champs seem like babies with toy instruments, yet "Age of the Tide" seeks penance with the heaviest Yes. Carving Desert Canyons not only marks Scale the Summit's Prosthetic label debut but it also will ensure the band a high position on this year's best-of lists.
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