Album: Scarecrow II
Lable:Wise Blood Records
Release Date: 22/10/2021
Last year Scarecrow reached out to us for coverage of their previous release, the self-titled Scarecrow and despite immediately falling in love with the album we weren’t able to cover it due to an immense backlog. Well now the time has come to make up for that grave injustice by taking a look at the band’s latest opus.
Scarecrow play a blend of 1970s prog rock and proto metal with heavy blues and symphonic elements. The resulting sound is simply spectacular and a must listen for anyone who is a fan of classic legendary artists from that period. The band have really doubled down on their sound with this album, diving even deeper into the unique style that they crafted on their debut. You’ll find truly unique vocals, catchy guitar rhythms with plenty of groove and bluesy swagger, as well as classic prog rock inspired segments. At times you’ll be instantly reminded of Led Zeppelin, at other times Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer will come to mind and at the same time you’ll get feelings of Rush.
Honestly this is like a goodies bag of classic elements drawn from legendary acts. The main point to take from this is that the band take the listener on a journey back in time with a fully authentic sound, energy, and atmosphere. This is an album that I find myself getting completely lost within. I can easily listen to it in full of start to finish and then start the whole thing over without ever feeling bored at any point. I think the reason for this is that they draw on just enough elements from each style they employ to ensure that things never feel dull for even a moment.
I’ll probably get crucified for saying this but the last few years I’ve lost some of the passion and love that I have for the modern traditional doom scene due what I view as oversaturation and a lack or originality and creativity that many bands have displayed. That’s not to say that I haven’t found bands and albums that I absolutely love, just that there are more acts than ever doing exactly the same things. Well, this album makes me forget that this was ever the case. Classic prog rock is a genre that I can listen to endlessly without ever feeling bored for even a moment and I think that the elements the band have drawn from that realm have really had a hugely positive impact on the release overall. That and the bluesy swagger throughout the album, paired with the captivating symphonic elements (which are used sparingly) just elevate it to a whole other level.
The vocals alone are some of the best modern clean vocals I’ve encountered in some time. They feel as if they’ve been stripped straight out of a 70s act. From the vocal range to the style and sound itself and the echoed faded effects applied, they’re just spectacular. The instrumentals perfectly suit them with catchy prog riffs, bluesy swagger, higher energy gallops and rousing solos. Honestly, the variety of guitar tones and styles and level of excellence in song writing that the band display make them a force to be reckoned with. When combined with the bass and drum work the album is an exceptional offering of musical proficiency.
Despite all the progressive elements, the album still maintains plenty of groove to it and leans more to that side of prog rock than the rigid technicality of some acts within the genre. The inclusion of flute and harmonica are more than welcome and really add a lot to the album’s overall sound. If I’m being honest harmonica, flute, keyboard and electric organ are all elements that I wish that modern acts would implement more as I believe that added a lot of soul to older releases.
I genuinely believe that many newer acts should take notes on what Scarecrow are doing with this release, as personally I think the band have found a winning formula here. I sincerely hope that the band get the recognition that they deserve for this album and that it achieves widespread acclaim. I don’t give scores on this site but if I did this would be a 10/10 or at the very least a 9.9/10.
Listen to and order the album: