Unbeliever's Script

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Two terms that are often used in connection with Sceptic are technical death metal and melodic death metal -- technical death metal because the Polish headbangers are technically proficient musicians, melodic death metal because their work is, in fact, relatively melodic. Unbeliever's Script does not govern by brute force alone; yes, sledgehammer brutality is part of the picture on this 2004 release, but so are intricacy and musicality. Drawing on influences that range from Slayer and Death to Iron Maiden (there are hints of Maiden's Bruce Dickinson in Michal Skotniczy's snarling, impassioned vocals), Unbeliever's Script reminds listeners that Sceptic is far from a grindcore band. Grindcore, of course, is a style of death metal that doesn't pretend to be the least bit musical; the stereotypical, one-dimensional grindcore exemplified by Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Bodies Lay Broken, and Cancer is about bombast for the sake of bombast. But if those bands represent metal's lunatic fringe (which can be fun if one has a taste for the extreme), Unbeliever's Script epitomizes a death metal/black metal style that, for all its ferocity, still pays attention to things like chord changes and harmony. Sceptic doesn't just provide riffs -- it provides songs, and even though Unbeliever's Script is harsher than power metal and '80s thrash, Sceptic is at least willing to meet power metal and thrash enthusiasts half way. Since forming in 1994, Sceptic has been through countless personnel changes; the five-man lineup on this CD consists of two original members (guitarist Jacek Hiro and drummer Maciek Zieba) and three headbangers who came on board in the late '90s or early 2000s: Skotniczy, bassist Pawel Kolasa, and guitarist Czesiek Semla. But despite being a revolving door, Sceptic has kept it together creatively -- and Unbeliever's Script is a decent example of its melodic death metal outlook.

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