Scale The Summit: The Migration

Prog metallers prove unable to push all the buttons

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

If it weren’t for a renaissance in progressive metal, it’d be a nigh-on miracle that Scale The Summit achieve a fourth album in instrumental prog with the backing of a label.

However, with the help of their peers – the home studio geekism of the vocal-less Chimp Spanner and the capricious jazzcore of Between The Buried And Me – this Houston five-piece (with an impressive 20 strings between them) can live safe in the knowledge that their sonic meanderings are likely to receive a healthy reception.

That said, it’s difficult to know what to do with The Migration. The passages of dual-guitar noodling weave seamlessly through elastic basslines that Geddy Lee would be proud off, but there’s not much in the way of dynamics. The best bits come when the speed picks up, such as on Narrow Salient, or the Floyd-esque atmospheric texture of The Dark Horse.

You can tell there’s some sharp playing being enforced, but after one listen of what’s essentially lift music for metal fans, there’s not much left to get out of it.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.