Scars of Tomorrow - The Beginning Of... (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Scars of Tomorrow

The Beginning Of... (2006)


One of the worst live sets I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing belongs to Scars of Tomorrow. Chalk some of it up to me being in a bad mood from the three-hour drive to Poughkeepsie, or the pit ninjas at Club Crannell that night, but I saw the band as nothing more than a roadblock in the way of Hot Cross' set. Uninteresting and uninspired, the five-piece plodded through their set like they didn't even want to be there. So naturally, upon receiving The Beginning Of.. I was less than excited.

And actually, in some ways, maybe that worked out for the best.

Going into this with rock-bottom expectations, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The band's brand of metal, though far from anything resembling original, is actually a decent output for the always expanding Thorp Records catalog. A collection of some of their early material and later EPs, the record chronicles several phases of their career in a cohesive manner that sounds like just one output.

While the album as a whole is quite long-winded (almost an hour) and thus, does grow tiresome about halfway through, if you're able to take each song on its own merit there's a lot to be praised here. The musicianship has improved greatly since that dismal live output a few years ago, and they've kicked up the power and intensity a few notches, and the result is a veritable bulldozer with the occasional, though tactful guitar solo. Even through using the metalcore staples of spoken word vocals and double-bass drumming, I find myself really getting into the speed of "Last Dance" and the maelstrom of power that is "Design Your Fate." Even the gruff and indistinguishable vocals cannot deter my unexplainable lack of disdain for something I'd normally have nothing of.

Picking up steam as it goes along, "With Open Arms" rages just as hard as the song that began this record, and actually incorporates some great underlying melody without bringing in the cheese factor that is a problem for so many bands of this ilk. Towards the very end, things do start to run together a little bit, but even the more forgettable tracks have at least something to offer. And approaching 2007, in talking about this genre, that's really all you can ask for.

Not so much breaking new ground as digging deeper into a ditch, Scars of Tomorrow were able to plant some roses. No matter how small that gesture, it's more than can be said for many.