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Scatter The Ashes - Devout/The Modern Hymn

If you've been paying attention lately, you'll have noticed that Epitaph has been going through some changes. They've controversially signed rap artists Sage Francis and Atmosphere, took a chance with Tim Armstrong's outing in punk/hip-hop, Transplants, and plan to release an album by renowned hardcore metal band Converge. So, naturally, they sign something that the scene may not be ready for---Nashville, Tennessee's Scatter The Ashes. If there was a band that could dispel the idea that Nashville is all about country music, it's Scatter the Ashes.

To sum up Scatter the Ashes' debut, "Devout/The Modern Hymn," in a word---this album is intense. As easy as it is to lump the band into the generic and stupidly sounding category of screamo, it would have been just as easy for them to take that route and fill an album with basic sounding songs that have nothing new to bring us. But, "screamo" barely scratches the surface of how far they've gone to break away from the norm. This album combines so many styles of music that it borders on obscene. If you put Rites of Spring, Fugazi and Joy Division in a blender, the product would only yield the closing song, Hour Benediction. The entire album swirls with different styles and innovative ways of bridging each song, taking careful consideration of every pause and breakdown. Daryl Stamps delivers his anti-NRA anthem, White Actress, so furiously that Charlton Heston himself would be quaking in his boots. Each line is conveyed like musical dynamite and each song is so intertwined with the songs surrounding it that the album is best taken in as a whole and not just as a selection of songs.

"Devout/The Modern Hymn" is truly something that we've never heard before and as hard as some bands try to win the title of uniqueness, Scatter the Ashes is one that finally hits a home run. Pay attention to this band, because they could very well change the face of rock music as we know it. For a debut album, "Devout/The Modern Hymn" is amazing, but if they develop as musicians after this album, their sophomore effort is likely to be a thing of legendary proportions.

By Lance Conzett

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