Runescarred – The Distant Infinite

Band: Runescarred
Title: This Distant Infinite
Label: Independent
Release date: 21 February 2020
Country: USA
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

As I sit in front of the computer and think about what to put into this review, I feel like my mind is simply blank. This week´s band was Runescarred, and their new full length album “This Distant Infinite”. Having released an EP in 2018, this album is a step up as it contains 10 tracks that all in all, were not that bad to listen to, however, were rather confusing and have left me somewhat speechless.

Thrash is first of all the start out genre here. “Hexit” contains a rather aggressive riff works as well as drumming with intense in your face vocals. It’s very straight forward if you think about it, however, I detected a scent of LoG during the verses. So far so good. Followed by “Inviting Rivers” the mood was the same, very straight forward trash but the vocals are extremely exposed and dry. I thought to myself I would like some more effects on the vocals, and delightfully enough that wish was granted in “Minor Progressions”. Shifting from mellow storytelling mode to harsh and screamed I figure this guy must be inspired by Russell Allen.

Mixing heavy and more melodic parts has obviously been mastered, so why not cram both into “Swallow Your Tail”? Further feel of inspirations such as Annihilator and even Avenged Sevenfold just go on forever but at least guitar wankery isn’t present here. The vocalists go from an odd place at the beginning where I wasn’t sure what direction he was heading to, and onto a road to what sounds like greatness, and as a weak link of the band at the beginning, he starts to become the very strongest member somewhere around the middle of the album.

A ballad is brought forth in the form of “Sorrow Is”. It is written in a way that if I didn’t know better it could just as well be Blind Guardian, but without those choir type vocals that Hansi Kürsch does. I guess the group does stumble upon the progressive metal genre every now and then, but out of all 10 tracks “Poison Oasis” probably takes the win on the progressive site rather than just sounding thrash. Although a traditional heavy metal formula, it is influenced by progressive metal in an obvious way while yet still staying on the traditional site. Does that make sense? It’s a nice display of this band for sure.

Even after having written all that, I still don’t really know what to say. The craftsmanship is overall quite good, but for me, there isn’t really a song that stands out. Are they progressive? Thrasy? Heavy? Only a handful of tracks contain an element of all the genres, but most of the time there is only one genre present in each track, which makes me wonder if they have some sort of identity crisis going on. I do like what I hear, but it’s not as memorable as I would like it to be. 7/10 Julia Katrin

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