SCORPION CHILD - Scorpion Child (2013)
Times in the music business are changing rapidly, so it's no surprise to see a metal specialized label as Nuclear Blast signing Austin, Texas
based retro-rockers SCORPION CHILD. Seventies Classic Rock is definitely
making a big comeback and a band like this basks in the glory of
utilizing analog recording technology for their lofty efforts.
Better yet, the group evokes institutionalized acts like Led Zeppelin,
Rainbow and Uriah Heep as inspiration for their hard driven style, so
this should appease fans into the retro '70s hard rock craze. In fact,
their self-titled debut disc goes for the gusto, filtering the vocal
talents of Aryn Jonathan Black and the twin guitar attack of Chris
Cowart and David Finner into a framework for a very classic hard rock
The easiest comparison to make for Scorpion Child would definitely be
Led Zeppelin. With their blues influenced heavy psych-rock and Aryn
Jonathan Black’s Robert Plant-like vocals, they are an extension of
their influences but not an imitation. They are accomplished songwriters
and for a debut album, these guys have assembled a cornucopia of great
Starting with "Kings Highway" one of the first sounds listeners will
hear is the wail of lead singer Aryn Jonathan Black fading in. With a
blues-based groove for the verses and some powerful energy on the
chorus, the track offers Black plenty of opportunities to showcase his
soulful and spirited sides.
While that was a great opening track for an album, you can't go past
"Polygon Of Eyes" as an introduction to this band. Massive riffs, John
Bonham-esque drumming and a giant chorus with the line 'I live on the
mountain' showcasing this time a vocal approach like a harsher Ronnie
James Dio, immediately Rainbow’s 'Man on the Silver Mountain' comes to
mind, but the backing instrumentation is actually a lot more aggressive.
With a memorable melody and huge riffs, it's no wonder why "Polygon Of
Eyes" was named the album's first single.
Other album highlights include "The Secret Spot" and "Paradigm", two of
the fastest paced selections on the entire record. The latter is easily
one of my favs, with some meaty hard rock riffage and a middle part
where the melody line follows the guitars in a way which sounds
fantastic. As a part of the album, this track is perfectly placed as it
is followed by "Red Blood (The River Flows)", a great psych-prog ballad
opening with acoustic guitars and progressing into huge soaring melodies
and a massive wall of sound.
The twin guitar attack are used to great effect throughout "Liquor" and
Shawn Alvear provides a very solid drumming all over, helped by the
earthy production allowing the rhythm section to sound crisp amongst the
rest of the instruments.
Another remarkable moment arrives with "Salvation Slave" which coalesces
into a satisfying moment of ultra heaviness and is one such number to
display the brilliance of the band’s overall sound.
One impressive debut filled with heavy riffs, powerful bass lines and
furious drumming, all led by a vocalist who is destined to become a
major star. Scorpion Child strives to breathe new life into the lasting
legacy of psych hard rock and there's nothing stopping them from carving
out a musical legacy all their own.
This recording is a great example of a young band doing something new
with such classic sounds. It's very easy to the ears and at the same
time juicy and meaty allowing you to discover new sensations after
repeated listens. Ah, of course, "Scorpion Child" is also available on
vinyl, a format that truly deserves.
01. Kings Highway
02. Polygon Of Eyes
03. The Secret Spot
04. Salvation Slave
07. In The Arms Of Ecstasy
09. Red Blood (The River Flows)
10. Keep Goin' [Hidden Bonus Track
Aryn Jonathan Black - Vocals
Shaun Diettrick Avants - Bass
Christopher Jay Cowart - Lead Guitar
Tom "The Mole" Frank - Rhythm Guitar
Shawn Paul Alvear - Drums, Percussion