Song Review: Scourge – “Apostate” (Ft. Markus of Sabella)

Song Review: Scourge – “Apostate” (Ft. Markus of Sabella)

Song: “Apostate” (Ft. Markus of Sabella)
Band: Scourge
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date of Release: 06/07/2015
Genre: Downtempo hardcore
Reviewer: 5StringSamurai
For Fans Of: Villains/Yüth Whatever, Black Tongue, Traitors
Why They Aren’t Famous: “Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done. There is nothing that one should suppose cannot be done.” ― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

As I walk my path of seeking reason, insight, and understanding through the trials of battle (and, ultimately, my death at the hands of a worthy opponent), I often find that music helps me along the warrior’s journey.

The right sounds at the right time can make the longest paths seem short, make the dullest scenery come to life with beauty and wonder, and, when facing adversity such as marching toward an imposing army of five thousand battle-hardened warriors when all you’ve got for back-up is a handful of second-rate mercenaries paid in rice by the local farmers you’re protecting, the right sound can make it seem as if you have a chance of victory … along with the possibility of bedding one of the farmers’ daughters upon your safe return and washing it down with a cup of warm saki.

The key is in finding the right sound for the task, or conversely, the right task for the sound.

‘Apostate’ by Scourge would not be the right sound for the long road, as it is heavy and treacherous. I can envision my waraji (sandals) becoming stuck in its thick, viscous bass lines or breaking on hard stone paths like its pounding drums beats, leaving my exposed and worn feet to blister and lacerate on the jagged, uneven ground ahead of me. Nor might it be the right sound for lifting one’s spirit amidst unpleasant surroundings and circumstances, as it is filled with dark and gloomy down-tuned guitar chug; restricting of vision and casting shadows in every direction, masking where danger lurks and from which enemies could strike.

Ahh but the third instance, heading into battle – now this is where ‘Apostate’ may be best employed, for it is strong and merciless.

The tempo may be slow like the swing of a double-handed Ono or axe; a powerful weapon to be feared by any adversary not spry enough to dodge its arching path of destruction, but it has another element – a secret, hidden from sight or should I say concealed; a weapon which allows for the element of surprise and a chance to change the tide of battle. One that is only revealed through the fastidious study of its texts.

Now what do you suppose it could be? A shuriken hidden in the sleeve of the kimono to be thrown from a distance creating an opening for attack? A tanto blade wrapped in the obi (sash) which could be quickly drawn and inserted between the plates of an opponent’s armour while in close quarters? No, the secret is knowledge and understanding in the subject matter of the lyrics. For as many a great Daimyo can attest, it is not always the army with the strongest warriors which wins the battle, but often the ones with the wisest strategists. Those with an intimate understanding of their opponents strengths and weaknesses are the most able to devise superior plans of attack, and stand to take home the glory of victory.

Vocals: 7/10
Guitars: 6/10
Bass: 7/10
Drums: 6/10
Production: 8/10
Lyrics: 8/10
Songwriting: 7/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 7/10
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

Song Review: Scourge – “Apostate” (Ft. Markus of Sabella)
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