Thursday 7 November 2019

Shadow Limb - Burn Scar (Album Review)

Release date: October 11th 2019. Label: Seeing Red Records. Format: CD/DD

Burn Scar – Tracklisting

1.Asger Arisen 06:42
2.Maelstroms Rebirth 07:19
3.Watered Down Alby 04:38
4.You Blew It 05:07
5.Cry Off 04:30
6.Cleanse Of Ire 06:20
7.Rudiger, his name is not important 07:24
8.Line of Descent 07:58


Mike Crew - Bass
Dan Elsen - Drums
Chris Roberts - Guitar & Vocals
Adam Scarborough - Guitar & Vocals


Burn Scar is the new album from Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metallers Shadow Limb and it’s a deeply progressive sounding album where the band explore many different elements of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal with a deep admiration for all things Progressive and Psychedelic.

Opening song - Asger Arisen – opens with a heavy pounding groove that has a slight Baroness/Mastodon influence with the Psychedelic and Progressive sounding guitars playing at a fast pace which is quite melodic in places. When the vocals appear, the song moves into a heavier style of music with the Doom Metal aspect coming into play and the song becomes ever more daring. The song is gritty and unforgiving in places with Shadow Limb adding a more alternative flow to their music especially towards the end as the vocals and music feel more restrained.

Second song -- Maelstroms Rebirth – is where the band go down the experimental route with Neurosis-style Post-Metal interludes and clean singing that shows a different side to the band compared to the opening song. The music is played at a brisk-to-mid pace that allows the band to get as many heavy riffs into the mix they possibly can. Shades of Mastodon are still felt here and I’m fine with that since they’re one of my all-time favourite bands. At least Shadow Limb are trying to add a gloomier and more experimental drive to their music. The song has some epic guitar solos that only just draws you into their crazy world.

Third song – Watered Down Alby – sees the band play a shorter song lasting over four minutes and this allows Shadow Limb to cut out all of the progressive rock/metal ideas and play a more direct Sludge/Stoner Metal song that is quite thrilling to hear. The vocals and lyrics feel more real on this song as the song has quite a different energy and feeling compared to the other songs on the album.

Fourth song – You Blew It – starts with an Ambient Post-Rock vibe before the heavy Progressive Sludge Metal grooves drift into the background and create one of the albums standout songs. The song changes direction when a more threatening guitar riff appears out of nowhere and the frantic drumming take centre stage before Shadow Limb play a Post-Doom style of music that’s quite bleak in places. The song is purely instrumental but things become slightly warped and heavier in the final moments of the song.

Shadow Limb continue their deep love and appreciation for Mastodon based progressive melodies but adding their own creative spin on things with different Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal based atmospheres allowing the album to sound mighty fresh and inventive on songs such as Cry Off, Cleanse Of Ire and Rudgier, His Name Is Not Important being the main highlights.

Things do become quite OTT and theatrical in places on the second half of the album but Shadow Limb play to their strengths on this album. Burn Scar remains a thrilling and addictive listen that allows Shadow Limb to pay respect to their musical heroes whilst forging an exciting path and future of their own making..

Words by Steve Howe