Scale the Summit-The Underground- 08/03/2011


In prog rock/metal, we have bands that take their instrumental prowess over the top. Extremely long, overindulging solos make many prog rock songs sound like you’re watching a really awful guitar lesson and you forget you’re supposed to be listening to a full, cohesive song (or concept album, if you will).

Then we have bands like Scale the Summit. This fully instrumental “adventure metal” outfit out of Houston, TX has been making music since 2004 and now they have 3 albums under their belt. Their most recent album, The Collective (album art at bottom of page), is a little different than their previous outings. This one is a bit darker than their previous albums. However, it still has that distinct Scale the Summit sound – by that I mean you still have the mellow passages, soaring crescendos, a strong sense of melody, the dual guitar work of Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier, and the more-than-ideal rhythm section of Jordan Eberhardt on bass and Pat Skeffington on drums. None of the band members try to outdo each other, even when guitar takes center stage. With that said, even though this album isn’t some spectacular change in sound, it’s still different enough to stay interesting and improves upon the cohesiveness of Carving Desert Canyons by leaps and bounds. This album isn’t afraid to go into real heavy headbanging territory either, with tracks like Colossal and Gallows being some of the heaviest things they’ve ever written. This is not only a strong contender for album of the year for me, but it’s a great way for people who listen to really heavy music and appreciate the technicality of it to get into this band.

I had the privilege of seeing them live with Periphery and Fair to Midland on March 8th. Musically speaking, this band was the best of show. I say this because they actually felt like they were bringing you were places. You could close your eyes and just enjoy the music and feel a part of it. Sure, Periphery had some stage presence, but having 6 people on stage trying to sound cohesive when playing Djent, a genre of music known for its technicality, is immensely hard, and they didn’t do too great of a job. Fair To Midland had a lot of stage presence. The lead singer of that band goes absolutely wild on stage and everyone in the audience was into it.

I’m not too keen on their style of music. Like most instrumental bands, Scale the Summit didn’t really have too much stage presence – but then again, that’s hard to pull off when you’re focusing on playing your instrument well.

We had the privilege of interviewing Chris and Travis from Scale the Summit at their March 8th stop at The Underground in Mesa, AZ. We talked about the recording process of the new album, how they enjoy touring with Periphery and Fair to Midland (also from Texas), and their experience on Prosthetic Records (notable because they cater to heavier bands, which Scale the Summit is not).


Scale the Summit will be touring until April 21st with Periphery and Fair to Midland. I recommend going. StS will be playing 3 different sets throughout this tour.

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