Metal can be a fascinating genre, not only for its face values but also for its ability to grow, expand, regenerate and (where it’s needed) come together in a fusion that works better for its two halves. Admittedly, most will not have heard on new faces Wearing Scars (although a few months should change that) but their music speaks bounds to the fan that has followed these talented musicians throughout their careers. I goes to show that not all modern metal is bad (quite the opposite actually, you just need to look harder and pull the Sabbath discs out of your ass). ‘A Thousand Words’ is far from a revolutionary record, especially for the hard rock/metal scene but it maintains the highest of values for a band looking forward rather than back (the music however shares the band member’s past – more on that later). Now if you’re one of those readers unwilling to do basic research, wondering just why Wearing Scars sounds so familiar, both musically and vocally, you may just find more than a fleeting input from band’s like Sacred Mother Tongue and Mutiny Within (formerly Roadrunner Records). It’s because Wearing Scars is an amalgamation of those two bands (see members list below) and the music that ‘A Thousand Words’ showcases stands as a testament to the guys behind both groups. For what it’s worth it’s great that these guys can continue their careers (even under a different moniker) rather than simply throwing in the towel at the demise of an old project. Wearing Scars promotes a consistent approach to melodic metal and ‘A Thousand Words’ sits between the realms of metalcore and melodic rock, ensuring that the new album is aesthetically pleasing in a whole range of settings. It’s the type of music that wouldn’t be out of place on any decent radio station and yet, Wearing Scars has the music you’re probably not going to hear on your local .fm station. For the band it probably doesn’t matter what platform you’re listening on, the band themselves will just be glad you’re listening.
Musically the album is quite strong. Hook lines meet soaring choruses, solos flourish and compliment tracks. Everything is where it should be. The album opener itself highlights that these guys know how to write songs, making them catchy and heartfelt. “Become Numb” moves forward at rapid pace, tight riff work builds into more riff work. This is music made for a live setting as well as enhancing any quiet listening experience. At fifty six minutes ‘A Thousand Words’ is long enough to fill the listeners’ head with emotion, with pensive thought and something to listen to again. It’s not too long and it’s far from overbearing, Wearing Scars have crafted a fine album made for repeated after repeated listens. A notable difference from past releases is the absence of so-called “harsh vocals”. Clancy is known as a vocalist with huge range, not just in his cleans (there’s tales of Pavarotti covers on Youtube if you’re in doubt), but notably his screams add a huge contrast to any track he works with. It leads to a couple of questions being raised; will they make an appearance in future recordings? Why aren’t they an integral part of ‘A Thousand Words’ and is the guy still capable of delivering such blistering screams? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Fortunately for the group they have more than Clancy’s talents to work with. Highlights emerge within the album, take the record’s lead single for example; “Butterfly” brings an air of joyous cinematic to a ballad led soundscape. The content is relate-able to most listeners, they just need to compare the emotive charged track to their own life experiences. It’s smart song-writing and whether the effect is deliberate or completely coincidental, “Butterfly” is a perfect first single for a debut record. This is how you release modern metal in a “now, now, now” setting. The album’s closing track, “Wounds” showcases some of Wearing Scars heavier instrumental work. The track touches on a darker mood, drawing a different atmosphere. “Wounds” stands as a modest highlight of the debut record. This darker edge personifies what kind of outlook some people go through in a “do or die” setting. The album closes strongly. If there is a ‘want’ for an issue to be found within Wearing Scars’ debut record it’s that tracks tend to blend together. Some tracks sound great as singles, but on repeat with no other distraction in mind the album becomes “same-y”. Take it with a grain of salt, it’s clear that this new group will make the music they want to, rather than trying to please the masses – after all, they’ve already accomplished that.
Wearing Scars is:
A combination of members from Mutiny Within and Sacred Mother Tongue