Higanbana, Pt One: A new start for Scarsun!

Scarsun is a hard rock/metal band that has been around the Welsh and English underground scene for a couple of years now, making waves with their big sound and catchy writing. After a line-up change and a bit of a rebrand, they released their new EP, Higanbana Pt. One, today. I’ve been a fan of the band all year and I’m excited to hear what they come out with now that Letha fronting the band!

‘Chains’ opens on an almost Nu-metal riff, heavy and industrial. The effect on the guitar is awesome too, giving off Cane Hill vibes alongside the likes of Static-X and Godsmack. The verse drops back a bit instrumentally, the palm muting and quick chugging keeping it heavy. Letha’s low, powerful vocals come in over the top and contrast well with the rest of the band. She gives off pretty heavy Dolores O’Riordan vibes. It builds up pretty well through a catchy, heavier, and open pre into a fantastic and similar chorus. The harmonies were great, adding plenty of layers to the track and I definitely see where they were going with it. Unfortunately, I thought the mixing of them, predominantly in the chorus, made it come across ever so slightly messy. The backing vocals could have been just a tad quieter or even had a dampening effect and it may have produced a bigger, rounder sound. The song’s structure is a tad off, finishing after an elongated second chorus, but the outro with the rest of the band chanting the song title made it all catchy as hell and even heavier. Overall, good stuff!

‘Time’ opens on another Godsmack-esque riff, the heaviness coming from every time it drops back just to smack you in the face with the drums and bass again. It’s a very early 2000s sound, but it’s awesome and we don’t have nearly enough of it today! It speeds up into the verses, a nice and unexpected change. The melody of the vocals of the verse was pretty great too, making it catchy and interesting when it could have just as easily stayed around one or two notes. The chorus opens up a bit again, staying high-tempoed but the drums strip back to give everything else more space to breath. The vocals stay pretty catchy, it being a more preferred chorus for me than the previous tracks as it was straightforward and to the point. It drops down to a beautiful clean guitar after the second chorus, Letha’s vocals harmonising over the top of each other and creating a great effect, before heading into a HEAVY riff, adding some great pinch harmonics to the main riff. It leads us to a final verse and chorus before the clean chord progression from the middle finishes things off. This was a great track and one that made the playlist easily!

‘Meaningful Intentions’ starts as the previous song left off, with a beautiful, slow, clean guitar riff. Letha’s vocals sound great again over the top of it, helping build the track up perfectly with the help of the drums into a massive, open chorus. The distortion gets pushed through the guitars for the huge chords and the vocals soar higher and provide some really great lyrics. It’s the slower track on the EP, the ballad if you will, but it’s still pretty heavy. We get an awesome guitar solo coming out of the second chorus, surprisingly the first proper one on the EP. The harmonies in it were pretty great and overall it was technical and enjoyable! We then get a brief pre before heading to a final chorus to finish things off. Another good song, and one hell of a slower one from an otherwise industrial-style band.

Finally, we reach the single from the EP, ‘Make Me Ache’. It opens on an AWESOME guitar riff, chuggy and heavy and Static-X AF. It also sounds even more awesome after a couple of bars when the drums go halftime on the riff, making me headbang a great deal. The chuggy, bounciness continues through the verse, adding so much to the great vocals and making everything about it sound awesome. The chorus is still pretty heavy too while having that same catchiness that the rest of the EP has shown off. The drop-out to just the low bass before the second verse was also a nice addition and a definite highlight for me. The bridge in the middle was pretty enjoyable, it maintaining a great heaviness, but unfortunately didn’t go anywhere with it but back to another pre and chorus. It was okay, but a solo or breakdown might have been nice, especially since they end on one! Still, it was a damn good track, and easily makes the playlist too!

Overall: This was damn good! I enjoyed the heaviness and industrial riffs and beats, and I felt like it contrasted perfectly with a female vocal over the top. Considering this is part one, I cannot wait to hear what they have in store for part two!

The Score: 7/10

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