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scale the summit!

February 17, 2014

No, I’m not talking about mountain climbing. Scale the Summit is a band, a truly amazing instrumental band.

Their style could be classified as metal, maybe progressive metal. Sometimes they play heavy tracks, and sometimes much more mellow pieces. A few of their instrumentals change quite a bit in dynamics.

Why am I so excited about this band? I love incredible guitar playing, but for the most part have not often been able to enjoy listening to instrumental material performed by such musicians as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. No disrespect to those awesome players, but I get tired of hearing instrumentals that feature almost non-stop shredding. After a few tracks, this can get really dull and unpleasant. Just because a guitarist can play a zillion notes in 30 seconds, and keep doing it for the length of an instrumental doesn’t mean it is something I want to listen to.

Scale the Summit is different. Yes, they shred some of the time, but they structure their pieces like songs, not like guitar solos that last for 7 minutes.

There are two guitarists, who usually play seven string guitars, a bassist who plays a 5-string bass, (the extra strings on the guitars and the bass is to reach lower notes) and a drummer who uses the metal double bass pedal style.

All the musicians are phenomenal.

And the band sounds like a band, not one shred-meister being backed up by a fairly boring rhythm section.

The tracks often start with an intro, or else kick off with a heavy riff. Since there are two guitarists, they can create harmonies you won’t hear if you are listening to just one guitar player.

The rhythms are very good and powerful. They can get a bit repetative at times, but that’s alright. After playing in unison using the same notes for awhile, one of the guitarists will harmonize the rhythm, or launch into a solo. And then there are times when both guys are soloing in harmony.

The bassist and drummer are just as good as the guitarists. They are stars too, not just there in the background.

The instrumentals sound kind of like metal songs, only without the vocals. This sort of music sometimes features vocalists that growl or scream, or just don’t sing well. It’s very refreshing to hear a band that not only doesn’t shred all the time, but doesn’t have a screeching, grunting vocalist either.

Check out Scale the Summit on youtube, or their website:

If you decide to locate this band on youtube, start out with the tracks “Black Hills,” “Alpenglow,” “The Great Plains,” and “Whales.”

Please give this truly amazing band a listen!

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