Released by: Independent
Release Date: October 13th, 2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review by Jay Hawkins
Dr Rabid Hell, vocals
Brother Dimitri Pain, guitars
Kraven Morrdeth, guitars
Princess Luxury, keyboards
Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist, drums
It’s with great pleasure that I get to write my thoughts and opinions on Evil Scarecrow’s long awaited 3rd album, Galactic Hunt. If you’re a southerner, those two words, when strung together take on a whole new meaning, yet harmless to the unsuspecting northerner (That’s a lie, everyone knows what it means)! The band have concealed its true meaning, with the clever disguise of the front cover. The band have recreated the famous star ship enterprise scene and sit as they would on the set of Star Trek. Dr. Rabid Hell, being the front man and leader of this collective of nut cases, also consisting of Brother Dimitri Pain, guitars Kraven Morrdeth, guitars Princess Luxury, keyboards Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist, drums, is naturally in “The Chair” where Captain Kirk would sit. I particularly like both Kraven Mordeth’s pose, who’s about to press the red button, he probably should press as well as Ringmaster Monty Blitzfis’s pose, who seems puzzled that the spaceship controls are on fire! A truly masterful recreation and a triumph as far as album artwork goes and seemingly fitting with this albums contents as it is too masterful and chaotic.
A brief history on a band is usually customary when writing an album review, although I fear slightly pointless in this instance as everyone know’s who Evil Scarecrow are…….right? The band did send me a bio, which explains a little and goes on to say that Evil Scarecrow arose from the dying embers of a previous band, Thor’s Children, but have neglected to include a timeline or dates (a small oversight). Many annoying questions later, I’ve discovered the band formed WAY BACK IN TIME, 2002 in fact, their first ever show was at Skegstock, payment was as much beer as they could consume, so 1 shandy between them it was then? I was trying to recall the first time I saw ES (I shall refer to Evil Scarecrow from here in, as ES to save my wanking hand) play and came up with 2010, better late than never, I guess. On that first occasion, I instantly feel in love with them (as a band) and have lost count of the amount of times i’ve seen them since. Since that first discovery, every show I’ve attended, has been extremely fun to be apart of. As with every ES show, crowd participation is key, just ask the 12000+ people who saw their, now legendary show at Bloodstock open air this year! That show earned them a 4 page spread, in the largest Metal Music Magazine in the UK “Metal Hammer” as is a triumph!
So Galactic Hunt, the bands 3rd offering to the world, an interesting fact, that I wasn’t aware of, is this album is the first to be recorded with the current line up, I’m hoping that’s the final line up too!
This album has all been made possible, thanks to the funding site Pledge, where fans can give money to fund the album’s creation. In return for your money you get to buy cool items from the band, which wouldn’t usually be possible. I’ve gone for a night at band practice, as at the time, it was the most amount of money I could afford, to ensure this albums release. Since then, however, they have added even more cool stuff, like, signed guitars, props from the band, T-shirts, signed denim jackets, a live show at 1 of the new 7 wonders of the world (That costs £5,000,000 so highly unlikely, but how cool would Raa Vs Thor be at the Great Pyramid of Giza?!?) ultimately a copy of the album is what you’ll receive, which is a true metal treasure, in this here space time continuum! The Pledge campaign is currently at 147% (at the time of writing) so is guaranteed to be released, the date of which has now been confirmed as the 13th of October.
Now the fun bit, discussing the albums contents, which is harder than you may think, when you actually analyse each tracks lyrical contents and yet quite fun to do, in all fairness! For saying these guys wrote most of the album, in their pants, whilst playing Xbox (Gears of War, Resident Evil, Bioshock and Just Dance?? Probably?)
The first track, entitled “Excelsior Mali Formidi” is a rousing, operatic, powerful and theatrical entrance, which simulates how these guys are on stage. The tracks title, actually means “Rise of the Scarecrow” in Latin, see, these guys are actually intelligent thinkers, despite what they might tell you!
Leading on nicely is “Rise” the next track. I must admit, I now have this as my morning alarm, a question I ask myself every morning, RRRRIIISSSEEEEEE, Maybe we should rise, should we think about, no lets just RRRRIIIIISSSSEEEEEE and rise I do. A powerful track, which I first got to appreciate, live at Bloodstock.
“Space Dementia” has to be the most technically advanced track I’ve come across, the depth in the lyrics leaves me searching for answers every time I hear it. I particularly love the Red Dwarf references in this tack and with guest vocals courtesy of the actor Hugo Myatt, who you might remember from the TV series Knightmare? I remember it well, as i’d of been 7 at the time and for a kid that age, the Dungeons and Dragons themed kids game certainly captured my imagination. It too must of struck a chord with ES as kids, as they’ve wrote a song about it and it features on this very album! “Galacticus” for me, is a track that displays the other side of ES’s music abilities, as it is a more sensible, deep metal powerhouse of a track. I love its power, anger, emotion and really gets under your skin as a track should!
“Crabulon” Is a firm fan favourite and as I stated earlier, it takes a lot of intelligence, to write a song about a crab. If you ever talk to the band, they’ll say its just a song about a crab, dragon, book, whatever, but its their vision of how a particular track will play out on the live stage, where these guys are clever. ES gets the crowd to raise their pincers (hands) in the air and get’s them to scuttle left……..scuttle right…….ATTACK! This is where the track breaks down into a heavy riff fuelled power house of a track, with a rhythmic swagger that resembles an army marching into battle! Thanks to the genius of music producer Russ Russell, on this album I can now pick out so much more detail in the bands material, which I’m most grateful for, for instance when Dr. Hell say’s “far too complex for the human mind” I could never quite get what Kraven said after, it turns out, he’s saying “my brain hurts” LOVE IT, this track went down a storm at Bloodstock this year. 12’000 + scuttling music fans was an incredible thing to be apart of and must have been extremely rewarding for the band to witness!
“Frankingstein’s Mirror” thats right, a song about the making of Frankenstein, but It begs the question, why have they miss spelt it? Thats what I love about this band, nothings quite what it actually seems? Again, another dark track, lyrically and a powerful metal track. “Book of Doom” Is one of my favourite tracks on this album, which I first saw them perform live at the first ever Beermageddon, so this is a track they’ve had in their repertoire for at least 3 years! It opens with Brother Dimitri Pain reciting an actual passage from the actual book, the actual bible, which I first though was a clip from the “Knights that say Ni” scene in Monty Pyphon’s Holy Grail, but no, I have it on good authority it is actually Brother Pain. The track consists of 3 chapters, 1 of which has been lost, which works to give a great comedy value to this track. This track is another heavy one! P.S John Merrow want’s his book returned back to the Library? lol
“Dance of the Cyclops” Again, another favourite of mine, which I first heard a couple of weeks ago, when, as part of the Pledge scheme, ES released to pledgers ahead of their performance at Bloodstock, so we knew what was coming! It took me a couple of listens to really appreciate this track, as at first I thought it was weak, but it turns out, the mental Imagery that it conjures up in my little head is frightening! I’m also convinced this track was thought up after seeing photographers in the pits, at their shows, when they have their one eye (lens) pointing at the band, but can’t help dancing to the music, a bit like me then! haha! I still think this would make a great music video! Tango and Cash reference is genius, although, at first I was certain the line said “dancing for fish” I’ve clearly been watching too many hobbit movies!
“End Level Boss” pays homage to the bands love of computer games, and is, by far the best parody track I’ve heard on the subject. Many other genres have tried, but metal “chain mail” is certainly best!
“Flight of the Dragons” is a track I admire more for its musical abilities than for its lyrical content. I must admit, on this album I’ve come to realise how much the keyboards feature in ES’s music, which is masterfully played by Princess Luxury, who’s name was inspired by a mattress no less, I must resist any jokes about being a good lay then…..opps, I said it! (sorry) Hahaha!
“When Moses Goes Wrong” Moses, another reference to “The Book” I’m starting to think these guys are religious, surely not, they look nothing like Evanescence! Moses was, as everyone knows a prophet, an Egyptian prince etc. and has been parting wet things since 1200BC and now he features on a heavy metal bands album, legend!
“Enter the Knightmare” as stated earlier, features the voice of the original presenter Hugo Myatt from the gameshow. In true knightmare style, the dungeonier greets us and sends us on a quest, where our lives are at stake, especially with this song, by far the most brutal, heavy thunderous track on the album…..NASTY!
To give this album a mark out of 10 would be an insult, in my eyes, as there has never been anything quite like it produced before and, I doubt it’ll ever be replicated or bettered, that is, until ES produce another ground breaking album in, o, I don’t know, about 10 years time. Therefore I’m going to say this album is 1 in a million and is as truly unique as the band!
Until next time, as the good man says, keep your wits about you, be valiant, be true and i’ll see you down the front at the next ES party!