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Scale The Summit: V

Vibrant prog metal adventures from the Lone Star state

It was perhaps inevitable that the turgid ubiquity of some bands would drive certain factions within US metal down more progressive and daring avenues.

Scale The Summit have propagated an ethos of muso-friendly instrumental liberation for over a decade, one never intended to appeal to a mainstream audience, and yet which is seemingly becoming more and more popular.

The Texans have avoided becoming bogged down in atmospheric mulch, and V once again illuminates the still largely untouched ground between Dream Theater and Don Caballero, with all the dizzying intricacy and mutant groove that such an approach entails. You may still feel that this is music aimed at guitar nerds and tech-metal obsessives, but there is great warmth in the spiralling arpeggios of *Soria Moria *and a very human sense of peril in Trapped In Ice’s unsettling, subtly extreme sprawl. Another compelling trip through a world of voiceless wonder.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.