Sep 142011

I saw Scale the Summit play in Seattle in April 2009. They were either the first or second band of the night. I hadn’t even heard the album they had released shortly before that tour started, Carving Desert Canyons. They were relative unknowns then, and they had no vocalist. I was prepared to be uninterested.  It took about five minutes before I changed my mind.

I remember being wide-eyed and gap-jawed in wonder, completely sucked into what they were doing on stage. If I’d heard a studio album that contained the music I was hearing, I would have been completely enthralled. To see them doing it live on stage, with no studio gimmickry or room for error, was astounding.

Now here we are more than two years later. Scale the Summit has another album out, The Collective, which was released in March of this year. They’re definitely better known now. In fact, one of the band’s two phenomenal guitarists, Chris Letchford, made MetalSucks’ list of the Top 25 Modern Metal Guitarists in June (and my only complaint about that was why he didn’t appear higher in the list).

Seeing Letchford and his co-guitarist Travis LeVrier doing their thing live remains a thoroughly entertaining experience, and yesterday’s release of the two of them doing a play-through of the song “Whales” from the new album captures some of the wonder I felt for the first time more than two years ago. (more after the jump . . .)

That’s one of the great things about a play-through video. You get the immediacy and the challenges of a live performance, but you also get great sound and video quality. The “Whales” video delivers on both fronts, with a multi-screen edit that lets you see both guys, close up, doing their thing at the same time — two 7-string wizards delivering a cool piece of music. There may not be any rancid vocals on this song, which we love so well here at NCS, but there’s no clean singing either.

UPDATE: I’m still thinking about that Scale the Summit show two and a half years ago, so here’s a song from Carving Desert Canyons in memory of that performance. This is “Age of the Tide”:

[audio:|titles=Scale the Summit – Age Of The Tide]

  14 Responses to “A WHALE OF A VIDEO”

  1. I think what I love most about this video is the texture of the guitars. They manage to be hefty, warm, and crunchy in just the right way for the music.

    Since I’m not a musician, I can’t really follow what they’re doing. By that I mean, I neither understand the true intricacy of the musical composition not the specific theme/story they are trying to convey.

    So, based on the name and the general “sound” of the song, I’ve decided that, if there were actual lyrics, it would be about a pair of post-apocalyptic cyborg transvestites making love as they die of battery failure in the blubber of dead whales who had washed up on the beaches of New Zealand following a massive laser-shark attack.

    There would also possibly–POSSIBLY–be a verse about how beautiful the stars are when viewed through cyborg-cum-covered sunglasses. Probably when they go into the really soft part.

    • The eloquence of your imagining made me weepy. And amazingly, I believe I remember reading an interview with Chris Letchford, and this is EXACTLY the concept Scale the Summit were attempting to capture.

      You are clearly so on top of your game today that if my fucking internet connection will resume normal speed, I’m going to upload and stream a song from the band’s first album and see what images it will cause to appear in your mind.

      • Kangaroo ass raping by land-born octopuses?

      • All I’m hearing, so far, in the newly posted song is a turbulent love story between young aliens from different worlds with different sets of genitals. But they try to make it work by injecting black heroin stolen from Earth in its last days into their various bits. And then there’s a supernova, and half of everything they both know is charred to a barbecue. So they gather their loved one’s ashes and compress them to make diamond sex toys and use their tears of sorrow as lubrication.

        And when they finally, for the first time ever, achieve mutual orgasm, they realize they’ve contracted some weird space disease by fucking with ashes of dead aliens and their eyeball-like organs explode into a fine mist of blood and cum.

        Then, the space dolphins come find these two sad, fucked up alien lovers and eat their genitals as an offering to their space dolphin god. Obviously, the alien lovers sob for hours until they finally bleed (or whatever they do) to death while the space dolphins call them mean names.

        And then Shiva does her thing and sticks her tongue and, shit, now I’m horny.

        • Wow. I didn’t know you wrote children’s stories as a sidelight to your regular job. The Dr. Seuss books will soon be forgotten. New generations of children will be asking for stories about the space dolphins and Shiva’s tongue.

  2. Scale The Summit are such talented dudes. Especially Letchford. I just can’t listen to an album of theirs though. It has to be these playthrough vids or seeing them live.

    • Is it unfair to draw comparisons to Animals As Leaders?

      I think these guys are more…umm…straightforward (?) than AAL, but both create AMAZING sounds.

      It’s like neo-classical music that started dating the bad boy djent in the next house over.

      And then Patrick Swayze did something with his penis. I have no idea what’s happening right now.

  3. This is without doubt the most insightful and informative musical commentary that I have ever encountered.

    • We pride ourselves on the insightful and informative musical commentary that appears regularly in our Comments section, especially when Phro has been drinking heavily.

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