headworm

BMTV.com (USA)

In so many words...this album is different. The norm does not seem to exist in the world of Ireland's Scald. This album is very much like Seth Brundle in "The Fly". The creation and sudden transformations makes this music hard to swallow yet breathtakingling ingestive...in a very visceral sort of way. Picture a new breed of Voivod growing from seeds of industrialism and grindcore. If any album was to be gritty, offensively beautiful and chaotic all in one..."Headworm" would take the crisis-filled cake. What remains requiem about Scald is the journey from soothing puppy dogs to rabies-filled pit bull bitches in each verse. Some feeble minds may have thought that rainbows and Lucky Charms put Ireland on the map. Well, my pot of gold goonies...think again! Visit the official Scald site at www.scald.me.uk
Mr Black

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ZERO TOLERANCE
Scald Headworm

This Irish three-piece have a winner here, as long as you like densely claustrophobic and dissonant metal. Scald summon a stark and bleak atmosphere throughout this hour-plus nine-song release, broken up occasionally by some ethereal tracks that serve as interludes between sledgehammer attacks. Sometimes they mix it up and get fast and / or chaotic in the midst of their epics, but they excel at pounding away. The mighty ‘Tap' is a standout track. The more extreme vocal style on hand here will remind you fondly of early Napalm Death.

5/6
Dan Lilker

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AARDSHOK (Holland)
Scald Headworm

After T.V.P and Bleeding Rectum, all forces are put together into Scald. And how! Scald, from Belfast, throws Head Of David, Godflesh, early Fear Factory and a part of black metal in the blender, which makes Headworm an exciting trip, from which Neurosis can learn about. Main concepts on Headworm are power, violence, doom-mongering and overwhelming. Scald roars, rumbles and blusters but keeps a close eye on technique. Headworm does not fall into a mush of noise and anger, it shows the different stages of an explosion of anger in all its parts, supported by a rattling grindcore bass. The CD Rom part may be called a top product. Order, book and haul in with a fat contract, these unpredictable boys.

84/100 René Vanes

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ROCK HARD
(Germany)
Scald 'Headworm'

For the greatest possible sensory stimulation the band recommends darkness and high volume. What they forgot, however, was a family pack of aspirin, preferably washed down with a bottle of paint thinner. Otherwise this noisy sludge-muck is unbearable. Fearless noise fetishists can buy the album for $15 at www.scald.me.uk or just stand next to the pneumatic hammer of their choice.

-1/10
Robert Pöpperl-Berenda


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METAL MANIACS MAGAZINE

Scald Headworm

"Yes the album title spells it all out: a writhing, inflamed worm of psychosis that burns deep into the listeners mind. Off-time fuzztone bass build-ups uncomfortably push their way through flat-out harsh noise-metal choruses, and a high end cackles with vocal patterns that will have you feeling the insanity at large here, not just hearing it. Harsh, dark and brooding passages weave a thick web of depressing yet invigorating segments, all forming a stomach-turning aural beating. Like Voivod gone sludge-dustrial, Zeni Geva in an indie rock meltdown or Today Is The Day from some other dimension, Scald is some twisted maniacal shit that fans of the above bands will feast on. It's going to take me a few more listens to figure this one out, but I need something to calm my nerves from this session first. Nine tracks rounding out at over an hour, I'm going insane on this one."

Dave Brenner

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LIVE4METAL.COM
Scald - Headworm

I made the unfortunate mistake of listening to this without reading the biography accompanying this album. Ok, so I've been sent some sort of weird lame ambient concept album, atmospherics and odd background noises I thought to myself. Thanks a lot. I couldn't have been more wrong as I was lead into an immense assault of the brain, crazy grind madness with hints of doom that literally transformed my mind into a slimy pulp. Headworm? Headfuck more like! It's clear from the cover artwork, the impressive visuals on the CD-ROM and the first 7 minutes of listening that this whole package is something 
disturbing. The 3 piece from N. Ireland are doing things for themselves at the moment, with no label backing this is a total D.I.Y. affair. The only thing I can't get on with here are the insane high backing vocals. I'm sure they have heard this before but I think it's just an acquired taste. Nevertheless this doesn't detract from the quality of the music for me. Mind numbing distorted bass and their ability to slow down time as we know it (I swear a bus journey that should take 30 minutes seemed like an hour while this was on my minidisc player) all just culminate to make this something pretty damn special. I'm not a huge grind fan to be honest but I'm sure nothing exactly like this exists and especially not from our neighbours in Ireland anyway. The demo contains 3 atmospheric tracks (as partly mentioned before) ‘Hs01', ‘Hs02' and ‘Hs03' all are great at bringing you down to earth before kicking you in the balls. When the next track hits you really do feel it, which is rare in extreme music these days. Scald's music isn't just basic weighty riffs either; its pretty technical and progressive with lots of time signature changes and erratic structures making for a mature listen. 
I don't understand why this band doesn't have a label deal. After listening to this album a few times it completely grew on me. Now when I put it on I'm held hostage by its pure weight, like been chased by a juggernaut from which you can never escape. And to think I didn't even really enjoy extreme grind metal before, if Scald play some shows in London I'll be there. You can obtain the album through the bands website.
Fox

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STILLBORN
[Italy]
(translation from the original italian, thanks to Michele Giorgi)
Scald - Headworm

Born as a grindcore/crust in 1993, Scald, a tri coming from Belfast Northern Ireland, turned their music along the way, becoming slow, heavy, metallic, claustrophobic and somehow alien... In eleven years they enriched their sound to create a wall of sound so hard as deafening, with the slanting and asphyxiating drums lines by Paul McCarroll, with the strangled inhuman voice nearly without any emotion showed by Pete Dempsey, similar to a robot starting to scream with all his earth, with the dissonant and hammering guitar riffing by Mick Tiemey.. It's all managed to drive the listener in a dark dimension, dark as fuck... The whole Scald's music is an obscure world from the slow but giddy sludge/doom parts to the alien ambient/noise intros... "Headworm" travels on distorted geometrical coordinates, painting un rational images and worlds where the terror and the terror are the main lines of inhabitants mind buildings... Nothing more to add: powerful, monolithic, real cold blood killers... help us!
...Strictly recommended! ... also recommended to labels that still didn't signed them in spite of such a great work!?!

PS: the promo contains also a fantastic multimedia section!

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BRUTALISM (Holland)
Scald - Headworm

What kind of metal is this? No possible label can be put on but for sure you can say it is extreme, heavy, unpredictable and mind twisting. The songs go from slow and dwelling to crust orientated with raping vocals, which are aggressive and shouty. The guitars playing various riffs in the songs creating mind-bending thoughts. The drums are often battling with the guitar riffs and following a melodic path. All together it is a record that keeps you attracted because of the unexpected and twisted ideas. You can hear different genre styles but extreme it is for sure.

Twan Sibon,

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BACK TO THE GRAVE (Portugal)
Scald - Headworm

Created in Belfast in 1993, the SCALD project evolved silently and subtly, managing to surprise audience and listeners with each breathtaking live performance and puzzling release. Given the fact that labels did not show much interest in the band's music, SCALD proceeded independently to the further dissemination of their offering. Headworm was spawned by Pete Dempsey (bass, vocals), Paul McCarroll (drums) and Mick Tierney (guitars).

What about SCALD's sound? You will certainly be caught off your guard when listening to Headworm for the first time. Sometimes, you are bound to find the whole thing bloody annoying – but down deep there is a touch of geniality to the sound that will no go unnoticed, not least because the songs tend to be extremely long. Experimentalism is a keyword in this album, as are «Variation» and «unexpected twists and turns». The guitars are heavy and menacing – songs are a successful alternation between extremely slow and reasonably fast-paced rhythms. Vocals are to be held as something very disturbing and cold. But when it comes to defining the band's style, there simply is nothing definite – is it avant-garde? The band's background is closely related to punk/ crust/ grind and NUCLEAR DEATH or VOIVOD might ring a bell to some. If that is not enough to at least provide a glimpse on the band's sound, I do not know what is. SCALD might very well be considered a big mean fight machine – absolutely not what I would expect from (Northern) Ireland. I suppose that is the band's way of showing their anger for having to share territory with U2, haha.

Even those who do not like the album will probably agree that Headworm is truly intense – and unique.

7.5/10, Morgana,

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ROYAL CARNAGE (USA)
Scald – Headworm

Have you ever walked down an alleyway aimlessly, only to realize it's dark and full of rapists far too late to turn around and see what direction you came from? Slightly disconcerting to say the least, but hey, while you're here, might as well take a look around. SCALD's full length debut Headworm represents this journey into darkness, but without the feeling that this is part of your last moments on this mortal coil.

Beginning with an eerie synth opening, "HS01" sets the stage pretty well. Without this brief moment one might think Headworm is just typical grind with a heavy doom influence (although not like that is typical I guess), at least the first time through. This is a very dark album with lots of creepy artwork to compliment it, but not all out vileness. Filled with many tempo changes, chaotic yet balanced guitar work, and a hideously distorted bass, Headworm is going nowhere fast, but rarely gets bogged down by its own weight. Everything is very deliberate including the faster passages, and what may sound off track the first time reveals itself to be quite fitting upon further examination (see the bass and guitar trade-off riffing in "Condensation"). I don't care much for the higher pitched vocals, but the growled backgrounds are excellent, and the two compliment one another to avoid what may have been annoying yelps up top. Drumming is very complimenting of the music, but a bit buried to hear what intricacies might be hidden.

Headworm takes its time, and is probably not for everyone. But if you are looking for doomy grind and just a flat out dark experience without diving into clichés, SCALD has an answer for you. I didn't care much for it the first few spins, but now it is beginning to envelop my being, one plod at a time. I think their followup has the possibility of being much stronger, but this is still a very solid first effort.

8/10 , NAD,

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THE INDEX [?] [Norway]

"SCALD - Headworm CD (Vermitronic Records MMIII). McCarroll's artwork is the reason we ended up in touch and upon having received his band's album I feel I'll keep talking about the artwork more than the music. Once the slipcase is removed, you will find three different stages of a series on the front cover, back cover and last page of booklet -- none of these having any text to disturb the visuals. Well-directed. Unsurprisingly, every page in the booklet has yet more colour artwork, although most of it doesn't live up to the mentioned main theme -- and I still prefer his analogue artwork (or those simply painted on screen) as his "photoshop manipulation" style isn't fully convincing yet -- there's sometimes blur in places where one would have sought for detail and vice versa -- which just doesn't happen in his paintings.
 -- Besides, nobody has yet surpassed Dave McKean's original "digital manipulations" and that was ages ago! Since then, there's already several generations of similar digital artists (many of them surely not even aware of McKean!).
 -- The music then? I was surprised I hoped the rest of the album would have been similar ambience as the intro "Hs01" (and third track "Hs02") as the visuals seemed to breathe plenty of hallucinations into those otherwise quite ordinary ambient minutes.
 -- But Scald are some sort of metal but not of the type that interests me -- if it's "innovative" or just lame, I don't know -- come to think of it, it's probably innovative -- I'm not much for innovation in metal. That doesn't mean I want to hear the same recipes of Death Metal (or related styles) recycled, just that when using a word like "innovative" we've already gone too far.
 -- I prefer the slow and acoustic parts by far, these also often being instrumental. I don't like Pete Dempsey's vocals, not dark enough to be dead and I don't like his duck-like light screams often performed together with the lower ones. As a whole, not a record for close-minded impuritanists like myself."

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IMHOTEP [Norway]

SCALD “Headworm” (2004)
Vermitronic (5/10)

Now this was a very strange encounter indeed, a band that is totally new to me and also a style that is relatively new and unexplored. I'd say the roots lie in grind core metal, but with loads of ambient/industrial parts that make this album quite without any real structure. Some of the music might strike me as an attempt to be technical and brutal at the same time, sometimes it works but more often it just gets chaotic and noisy. The vocals are the most disturbing part, the main vocals sound like your typical granny-old neighbour next door who yells (in a high pitch scream…) and complains if she hear you move in your apartment! When he doesn't get too excited the vocals work a bit, and some vocal parts are wayyyyy down in the basement as guttural grunts – but it is so low that it's hard to follow.

The music is, as I said, without a lot of structure – I get a bit of that schizophrenic feeling, not really sure if they want to pursue a certain genre either though. Certainly fodder for followers of that Relapse Records sound and style, brutal at times but also very strange and unpredictable. If this Irish trio will be picked up by the mentioned label any time now, I wouldn't be surprised and I may add that it would be well deserved. Scald is not for me, but I'm very sure a bunch of people appreciates this.

(Jan Roger Pettersen)

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DECIBELS STORM , [France]
Scald – Headworm [no translation]

D'Irlande, nous connaissions les excellents Primordial et leur folk metal endiablé ainsi que les terreurs de Abaddon Incarnate oeuvrant dans un grinding death débridé et d'une bestialité peu commune. A cette petite liste de groupes ayant émergé hors de leurs frontières, Scald pourra se greffer sans trop de peine, étant donné que la liste d'attente reste relativement…vide. Les raisons m'échappent, mais bien peu de groupes originaires de ce pays, ayant un certain poids sur la scène metal européenne, ont réussi à se faire une réputation digne de ce nom. Peut-être que nos cousins irlandais n'aiment pas le metal? Qui sait ? Enfin, trêve de considération inutile, Scald se propose aujourd'hui de se faire les dents avec son premier véritable album, enfanté après une tripotée de démos, qui s'annonce comme… particulier. En effet, pas de ligne directrice claire et précise ici, on navigue en eaux troubles avec des breaks à gogos, des riffs oscillant entre thrash syncopé et death alambiqué, parfois progressifs, souvent dissonants et peu évidents à cerner de prime abord. Cela reste difficilement descriptible mais une chose est sûre, les vocalises du chanteur sont irritantes au dernier degré! Sorte de croisement entre un canard émasculé et un porcinet castré, celles-ci nuisent pour sûr à l'écoute de l'album et avortent irrémédiablement d'autres écoutes plus attentives du contenu musical à proprement parler qui n'est pas franchement mauvais. Les compositions tiennent largement la route malgré des intros parfois un peu longues, et avec un peu plus de soin apporté à la mise en place de chaque instrument, pourraient s'avérer meurtrières (on pense parfois à une rencontre inopinée et improbable entre Totenmond, Cathedral et Believer). Il n'y a qu'à savourer la basse, rutilante et monolithique pour s'en convaincre. Néanmoins, il y a encore du travail à fournir avant de passer à l'étape supérieure et susciter l'engouement d'un plus large public que celui qui est (ou pourrait être) le sien actuellement.

Clem,

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SHAPELESS ZINE [Italy]

SCALD
Headworm
Label: Vermitronic
Year: 2003
Duration: 60 min
Genre: post-grind


(translation from the original italian, thanks to Michele Giorgi)

Scald are a big deal! A solid record like the ones you could find on Earache (what can you say? They are producing Mtv bands nowadays ? I can’t believe this). Well, so who produced them? Vermitronic, curious how this name fits perfectly with the title of the album "Headworm"... This is Vermitronic’s first release? Great luck to start with such a good record! It says this is Scald’s own label? So this is a self-produced album as no label had the guts to produce so huge an album?!?! What a weird world!
So let’s talk about the whole thing.
Scald are from Belfast, Ulster, Northern Ireland. They are a trio with a past in the most violent grind/crust-core, the most desperate one, nearer to self-infliction than to the slogans. After the release of some great demos that got them known around the world, they created this album, inexplicably self produced. Grindcore is a ghost of their past, not to mention the crust attitude, this is pure post-grind. Post what? Post the fall of every hope and will to live, due to the grey mood of these compositions. At a first sight it could appear as an apocalyptic doom album in the vein of Winter (or Neurosis) or a sludge one in the vein of Eye Hate God, but it’s not completely true.
Take some Voivod from "Nothingface". Dissect "Lo Flux Tube" by Old and filter it with Nuclear Death. Hold a rolling pin and work the whole thing till it gets Lemming Project dimensions. Pour the above-mentioned Voivod in and you will have the great Scald! A real cool mix but don’t say to me that this is 'nouvelle cuisine'! Whoever says they are unique should try some of the above described ingredients. As a friend of mine, who I was listening to the album with, used to say, “historical memory tends to become thin too soon”, so I need to repeat once again: Voivod!! Old!! Nuclear Death!! Lemming Project!!
It is useless to spend a lot of time talking about this album’s qualities, as it’s useless to talk about single compositions. This is a WALL to the face in its entirety, concrete and bricks (represented by musical intros and outros less aggressive but still not so reassuring. "Headworm" is not a record for everyone and someone could be tempted to go around the wall. Let him do so! For all the others willing to test it, I’ll try to be less obscure. Be sure, you will face Voivodian melodies turned to sludge, Nuclear death distortions, OLD vocals singing depressive and hopeless lyrics, and dark atmospheres with a Lemming Project attitude (ok, I won’t name these bands anymore!). Technical skill and recording look to be on the right level for this monolith, as is the graphic presentation, a real professional one worth a mention, created by Unhinged (a name hiding Scald drummer, Paul McCarroll), who also created the interactive cdrom track. A cyber-decadent post-Giger digital artwork: it might not be a masterpiece of art but I put it up as the wallpaper of my pc, so to speak!
The whole album is not an absolute masterpiece, but records as solid as this are very rare nowadays!

Voto: 9 (MoonFish - Maggio 2004)

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AVERSIONLINE

Scald "Headworm" CD
5/10 - [self-released]

After an unnecessary three minutes of near silent intro ambience, this Irish act finally gets things underway with some thick and nasty material based around ultra sludgy rhythms and sick vocals that are either cackled or yelled/growled, all with a very throaty and totally unique texture. Now, the biggest problem here is that the vocals are an acquired taste, and they're also mixed way too fucking prominently. The recording is really pretty damn good, but the instruments are so thick and based around low-end that the vocals rise above and stick out like a sore thumb, making for an incredibly distracting listen. A shame, as aside from their penchant for meandering along and repeating too many odd timed rhythms to drag the songs on endlessly this is quite a promising CD. I just can't get into it because of the vocal placement. The fact that the vocals are always panned with different styles in each speaker is also a huge distraction. If they could get that straight it would be cool, because the drums sound great, the distorted bass is great, and the guitars are so dense and full of dissonant distortion that I'm pretty into that. The only thing I dislike about the songwriting is the aforementioned issue of just cramming riffs together and going on and on. Aside from the instrumental segues every track runs around six to 14 minutes, which gets pretty fuckin' tiresome. They ought to toss some of the quirky shit and just stick to dirty odd-timed rhythms and those sick yelling vocals. The high cackles are irritating and clash with the music too much. The first several minutes of "Tap" are instrumental, and by far the most cohesive moments on the disc, unleashing a load of plodding, massive destructive that truly realizes the band's full potential. The 11+ minute "Spiracle" starts similarly and introduces some really subtle melodic tinges, which rule, but much like "Tap" it ends up transforming into an almost entirely different song that runs for nearly 12 minutes. The layout's 50/50. I really like the color scheme and the textures, and some of the concepts are alright, but the computer altered collages of man and machine parts aren't happening for me. It looks to blatantly digital and I'm not into that look at all. The jewel case has a great looking slip sleeve around it though, and that looks very nice. The content is a little abstract, and I can handle that. "Creativity struggles to seep out of inadequacy's self-loathing doors. Inspiration waits to be called, but I have no voice now. Apathy holds me in its quiet comfort, and urges me to be nothing." Fuck, I don't know… this could be so good, but it's just not there right now. The writing needs more focus, the vocals need work, and then they ought to be much closer. I could imagine these guys making a huge dent in the scene as far as a slow, pounding sludge style is concerned, they just need to push themselves to make it happen. I hope they succeed.
Running time - 60:30, Tracks: 9
[Notable tracks: Tap, Spiracle]
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MINDVIEW

SCALD – Headworm (Eigen Beheer) – MV 108

Voor een cd in eigen beheer is die bijzonder mooi uitgegeven. Het trio van Scald komt uit Ierland en wat ze hier brengen heeft toch een pak groeitijd nodig. Het gaat om een mix tussen crust, black, doom en punk met de nadruk op steeds terugkerende riffs. Dit doet me erg aan Dystopia denken, nog zo’n smerig bandje. Niet alle songs zijn even leuk maar er zitten enkele enorme uitschieters in en dat haalt het niveau van de plaat toch erg naar boven. Ik vermoed dat het geheel nog gaat groeien, dus geef ik (RM) ZILVER (5/7)

(English translation. Thanks to Joost from the Royal Carnage board for this)
For a self-released CD this one is packaged especially beautifully. The trio Scald hails from Ireland and what they are delivering here surely requires some time to grow. It concerns a mix between crust, black, doom and punk, with the emphasis on continuously returning riffs. This reminds me very much of Dystopia, another dirty band like this. Not all songs are equally nice but there are some real standout tracks among them, which adds a lot to the overall quality of the album. I suspect that this album will still grow on me, so the verdict is (RM) SILVER (5/7).


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DARK CITY
[Russia]

Scald 'Headworm'
[translation from russian]

An Irish trio Scald (not to be confused with other scalds!), unlike their scenemates, doesn't drive a listener into eternal gloom (like, for instance, Mourning Beloveth), doesn't crush your brain (like Abaddon Incarnate), and doesn't help you relax (like Antimatter). These guys are just irritating with their attempts to create something brutally psychedelic, with an unpleasant taste of hardcore, with crappy production. To the trashbin!

1/5
(note: review by A.K. of Irond records... hmmm)

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ULTIMATE METAL.COM

Scald - Headworm
Vermitronic – VERMIS 001 - 2003
By Nathan Pearce

It is quite possibly a crime, punishable by severe torture and eventually death, that Scald had to release Headworm, their first “proper” album, on their own label. With some of the absolute CRAP labels are pumping out these days, Scald should have the labels fighting over them. Anyway . . . enough with my anger toward the underground music scene. On to the music!

Scald hails from the island-of-neglected-and-underrated-metal-bands known as Ireland. However, their music is a departure from the island’s more popular sounds. In fact, Scald is a departure from the norm no matter where the music comes from! Think of grind, meets psychedelic doom, meets black metal, meets progressive death metal. Even that meager description is not quite right. Scald can transform a song from a start/stop technical-death experiment to a thrash fest to a black-metal-on-acid trip all within a few minutes.

The band consists of three individuals, and according to the press release only Pete Dempsey does vocals (he also plays a mean bass guitar). However, there are about three different vocal styles to be found. One is a deep roar found in most brutal death/grind bands, the second is a yell/snarl/shriek similar to 80’s blackened thrash, and the final is an inaudible high-pitched snarl that reminds me a little of the cartoon character The Tasmanian Devil. If I had to make one recommendation it would be to make The Tasmanian Devil’s vocals a little more decipherable. Other than that, the vocals are very well placed, and they fit the music perfectly. Guitarist Mick Tierney arranges riffs, melodies, and even acoustic interludes similar to fast-rising British extreme metalers Akercocke. In fact, if Akercocke had more grind influences and took some acid, they might sound a lot like Scald.

Overall, Scald is a band worthy of praise alongside such genre-defying bands as Today is the Day, Halo, and even Neurosis. Although none of these bands have a sound similar to what can be heard on Headworm, that same spirit of experimentation within extreme music is very much alive in everything Scald does.

9/10

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DUNKELSPHAER [Switzerland]

Scald 'Headworm'

Nachdem es eine Weile still war um die Iren, haben sie nun mit Headworm ihr erstes richtiges Full-Length Album mit einer Spielzeit von etwa 60 Minuten herausgebracht. Das ganze ist sehr geschmackvoll verpackt und mit einem passenden Cover von Schlagzeuger Paul McCarroll (Unhigned Art) versehen. Scald haben sich damit grosse Mühe gegeben und auf die Scheibe ausserdem noch eine Enhanced Sektion draufgepackt. Diese enthält neben Biographie, Discographie und vielen anderen Informationen zur Band noch ein paar sehr interessante Desktophintergründe, ebenfalls direkt aus der Feder von Paul McCarroll.

Den ersten Kontakt mit der Band machte ich auf einer Review Seite und war sogleich interessiert an ihrem Sound. Irgendwann bekam ich dann auch eine ihrer Mini CDs (Nematoid Specimen I-IV) in die Hände. Was die drei Iren darauf ablieferten war schon mehr als interessant und alles andere als alltäglich! Als darauf Headworm erschien war ich sehr gespannt und wartete voller Ungeduld darauf das Ding endlich mein eigen nennen zu dürfen…

Die CD beginnt mit einem düsteren Intro welches den Hörer direkt in die kranke Welt von Scald eintauchen lässt. Die folgenden Songs erschaffen eine kalte, erdrückende Atmosphäre und versetzen den Hörer in eine Welt voller Qualen, Depression und Ausweglosigkeit. Man merkt dass die Musiker damit ein ganzes Lebensgefühl ausdrücken, reale Gefühle musikalisch verarbeiten und ausdrücken. Dadurch wird das gesamte Werk bedrohlicher und gleichzeitig auch beeindruckender. Die ganze Verzweiflung und der Hass welche ausgestrahlt werden verwirren und verstören…

Durch grosse Variationen im Tempo und vor allem durch die extrem langsamen, zähflüssigen Parts zermahlen Scald alles was sich ihnen in den Weg stellt und bauen diese extrem verzweifelte Stimmung auf. Die Songs fräsen sich ins Gehirn und hinterlassen einen Eindruck der Hoffnungslosigkeit. Es ist sehr schwierig ein Lied speziell herauszuheben, da alle auf ihre Art etwas ganz Besonderes, Einmaliges sind. Zwischen den richtigen Songs bauen die Iren immer wieder kurze Tracks mit schrägen Geräuschkulissen ein, welche sehr gut zur restlichen Musik passen.

Mein einziger Kritikpunkt ist die Produktion des Albums. Nicht dass diese schlecht wäre, im Gegenteil! Aber meiner Meinung nach dürften die einzelnen Instrumente und die Vocals noch etwas klarer und schärfer daherkommen. Das ist jedoch auch schon alles…

Ich kann dazu nur noch sagen: Ein ganz spezielles Meisterwerk das seinesgleichen sucht. Die Musik ist ziemlich komplex und nicht für den 08:15 Hörer geeignet, sondern erfordert viele Durchgänge um sie richtig zu erfassen… Das macht das Album umso interessanter und vielschichtiger! Also Leute besorgt euch das Ding und lasst euch von Scald in Stücke reissen.

9.5 von 10 Punkten

TOTALLY CACK WEB-TRANSLATION

After it was a while quiet around the irises, they brought out now with Headworm its first correct abundance-Length album with a game time of about 60 minutes. The entire is packed very tasteful and is equipped with a suitable cover of percussion Paul McCarroll (Unhigned type). Scald gave itself therewith large effort and on the disk moreover another Enhanced section thereon pack. This contains another couple of desktop backgrounds very interesting next to biography, Discographie and many other information to the volume, also directly out of the feather of Paul McCarroll.

I made the first contact with the volume on a Review side and was interested at once at its Sound. Sometime I got then also one its minuses CDS (Nematoid Specimen I-IV) into the hands. What the three irises on that delivered was already more than interesting and all other as daily! As on that Headworm was appeared I very strained and waited name full impatience on that the thing finally my characteristic to may…

The CD begins submerge lets the listener with a gloomy Intro of which directly into the sick world of Scald. The following singe create a cold, earth back atmosphere and transfer the listener of torments full into a world, depression and Ausweglosigkeit. One notices that the musicians express therewith an entire life feeling, musically process and express real feelings. Through it the total work becomes more threatening and more simultaneously more also more impressing. The entire despair and the hate which radiated will confuse and distress…

Through large variations in the speed and above all through the extremely slow, viscous parts Scald pulverize everything, what places itself them into the way, and construct this extremely despairing disposition up. That singe mill itself into the brain and leave behind an impression of hopelessness. It is very difficult a song special herauszuheben because all are on its type somewhat entirely special, unique. Between the correct construct singe the irises again and again short Tracks with oblique sound wings on, which fit very well to the remaining music.

My single point of criticism is the production of the album. That this would not be bad, in the opposite! According to but my opinion the single instruments and the Vocals might something else more clearly and more sharply daherkommen. That is however also already all…

I can say in addition only: an entirely special master work that his equal seeks. The music is not rather complex and for the 08:15 listener suited, but rather makes to grasp required many runs around it correctly… that the album all the more more interestingly and more stratified! Therefore people the thing provides you and lets tear you of Scald into pieces.

9.5 of 10 points

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THE METAL OBSERVER

Scald 'Headworm'

Before reading the following review please note that it was written shortly after the album's release and therefore is quite old. The band themselves requested that I did not submit it at the time as they were still negotiating label deals and didn't want too much publicity outside Ireland. Everything below however is still what I feel about this album, and then some! How and why some label didn't pick this up is beyond me... It is in fact one of the best albums I have ever heard.

Ever since I was first introduced to SCALD with the two "Nematoid" demos I have been dying to hear what this band could achieve if given the opportunity to release a full length album. Needless to say those who have read my opinion on the aforementioned demos should know how I feel about SCALD and before you read any further let me assure you that "Headworm" does not disappoint following in the footsteps of its predecessors. Here SCALD have truly released an almighty behemoth of an album that currently, easily, tops my best of 2003 list.

Before I say anything else I think I should comment on the packaging of this album as the band really went full out with this, as the artwork and presentation are fantastic. With a full lyric booklet and even an outer slipcase it is obvious that SCALD have finally decided to opt for the professional approach and let me just say that it pays off. Also included is a fantastic CD-ROM feature which includes lots of goodies from desktop wallpapers to a band history and lots of hidden galleries to keep you entertained. Everything here is top notch from the amazing artwork (provided by the bands' drummer Paul McCarroll at www.unhinged.me.uk) to the amazing music and brilliant production.

As far as the actual music goes much has changed since the brilliance of the "Nematoid" demos as now SCALD have a less spacey atmosphere and a cleaner and more powerful production. The material itself combines some of the best elements from the demos as we have sections of the sludgy brilliance from "Nematoid Specimen Parts I-IV" and some of the aggression from the later demo. Combined with this SCALD have utilised everything you can imagine fitting into their sound and even a little more which you never would have suspected. Sections of clean guitars and even synth sounds in "Hs01", "Hs02" and "Hs03" really stand out as they help the album to flow better and to convey the amazing variation of music contained on "Headworm". I am at a loss as to who to compare this to but I have heard many references to VOIVOD and FRANK ZAPPA which seems more than a little bizarre when thrown into this devastatingly heavy and frankly disturbing work of art.

After the "Hs01" intro comes "Spindle" which I first heard live a few months band and was really impressed. Now I am even more impressed as the powerful production conveys the absolute ton weight of the leaden guitars and rips you right into the frankly unique and disturbing world created by these sounds. Where "Nematoid" was very spacey this is more like a twisted parallel earth which helps to add weight to the believability of the album. Riff wise this song, as with the rest, contains various tempo changes and quite frankly unique riffs. The production here is perfect for the SCALD sound, or rather for the "Headworm" sound, as now the band have chosen a less raw production which loses a little of the aggression but adds direction and clarity to the music.

One of the most memorable things about SCALD's sound is Pete's vocals which are some of the most disturbing screams you will ever hear. Not as inhuman as the likes of BURZUM but with that same chilling force behind them yet here it is perhaps even more powerful as it is the feel of humanity driving them that makes it sound so much more painful, disturbing and emotive. The guitar riffs themselves are uniquely SCALD and this is what makes this album so hard to categorize as they can easily fit in with anything like avantgarde sludge doom grind, which I understand, makes no sense, but SCALD sound as they do and they are truly one of the most gifted songwriters in today's metal scene.

There is no point in mentioning highlights on this album as each song in its own right is simply breathtaking. Worth noting is the great remix of the already excellent "Godworm" as a hidden song at the end of the album which was created by Stuart Anstis (ex-CRADLE OF FILTH). The fantastically dynamic "Tap" is definitely one of the more memorable on the album for its use of slow and soft sections, and the way the music contrasts with the vocals is almost overly chilling. There is a complete break in the middle of the song which makes the song appear to split into two segments and the powerful way in which this snaps you back to reality as if the band knew you were starting to drift is, again, a frightening thought.

"Spiracle" is another work of genius. The use of such a long, slow, crushingly heavy intro creates the ultimate foreboding atmosphere. This track plods along and you fear the beast is drawing ever closer and your death is close at hand, and I for one don't think I have heard anything this scary in a long time. When it does break in, it delays the inevitable onslaught in an ocean of chilling reality as the realisation hits you that they are toying with you before destroying.

Leaden and powerful SCALD march through anything and crush what is in their wake with such unique and dynamic interchanging compositions. Who can compete with this war machine? I dare anyone to listen to this and not feel frightened or moved in some way, because with "Headworm" SCALD have created the ultimate head fuck album. How has this band still managed to remain unsigned? This is the most engaging, original and rewarding album I've heard this year so GO AND BUY THIS NOW!!! (Online March 19, 2004)

10/10 Niall

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HM PORTAL.IT [Italy]

Scald 'Headworm'

Finalmente vede la luce la nuova fatica degli Scald, band nord-irlandese già fattasi apprezzare con i precedenti lavori “Born With Teeth” (1997), “Nematoid: Specimen I-IV” (1999) e “Nematoid: Specimen V-IIX” (2000). “Headworm” porta la proposta degli Scald ancora più in alto nella scala dell’innovazione e della voglia di osare, traghettando il loro post-grind rallentato e dilatato fino a livelli di puro estremismo grind-ambient dalla forte impronta psichedelica, impronta capace di arricchire l’intera opera con una serie incredibile di input e divagazioni di pura malattia fatta musica. Presentato in un carton box ideato dal batterista Paul McCarroll (già grafico apprezzato con la sua Unhinged Art, www.unhinged.me.uk) e da un artwork decisamente inquietante, il cd contiene come bonus una traccia multimediale ricca di informazioni ed extra, che aiuteranno l’ascoltatore ad avvicinarsi ed apprezzare il mondo parallelo in cui si muove questa incredibile band. Musicalmente, abbiamo già detto che si parte da un background grind per stravolgerlo completamente a base di pesantissime partiture dilatate al limite del noise e dell’ambient, per un risultato finale che non è poi così distante per attitudine e coraggio da band come Neurosis, Unsane e Today Is The Day, senza per questo voler richiamare direttamente questi nomi o altri musicisti di grido: “Headworm” mantiene, infatti, sempre ben in evidenza il trade-mark e la forte personalità Scald. Inutile soffermarsi su una composizione piuttosto che su un’altra, l’opera va infatti gustata nella sua interezza, perdendosi nei suoi meandri e ritrovando la via principale quando ormai si crede completamente perso ogni orientamento. Non resta che consigliarvi di lasciare ogni remora ed avvicinarvi a questo lavoro, tanto complesso quanto avvincente, ne rimarrete affascinati e rapiti. Una sola aggiunta: spero gli Scald troveranno presto una label interessata alla loro musica, perché il loro essere ancora senza contratto lascia davvero interdetti.

Un tank che gioca con la psichedelia!

93% 15-03-2004
Michele -Xyphias- Giorgi

Translation
Finally Scald, the band from Northern Ireland we already appreciated with their excellent “Born With Teeth” (1997), “Nematoid: Specimen I-IV” (1999) and “Nematoid: Specimen V-IIX” (2000), presented to us their new album. “Headworm” set an even higher step in Scald proposal along the way to innovation and shows again their will to dare. Their slowed and amplified post-grind is forced till the pure extremism we can call grind-ambient, with many psychedelic inputs able to enrich the whole album with pure manic mood. Offered in a carton box created by the drummer Paul McCarroll (already an apreciated artist with Unhinged Art, www.unhinged.me.uk) and coming along with an impressive artwork, the cd got a bonus multimedia track fullfilled with infos and extras, to drive you into their outer realm. Musically we said they started from a grind background to deviate it with heavy dilated scores near to noise and ambient, for a final result not so distant in attitude from bands like Neurosis, Unsane or Today Is The Day. This names doesn’t mean so much, as “Headworm” maintain in every note its strong trademark and personality. Useless to stress one song or another, as the whole album deserves the maximum attention: you should explore its every part, just to find the safe way when you yet fear to have been trapped inside it. I can only suggest you to leave every doubt and to embrace this album, so complex as outstanding: you will love it. Just one more: I really hope Scald will find a proper label to release this masterpiece because their being still unsigned is such a shame. A Tank playing with psychedelia!


93% 15-03-2004
Michele -Xyphias- Giorgi

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METALWORKS MAGAZINE issue 4 [advance review]

Scald 'Headworm'

Headfuck, headmelt, I think headless would be a better word to describe the aural assault present on Irish extreme artists Scald latest release. Being a fan since the Nematoid releases, I still wasn’t ready for what Headworm spews forth, a noxious and dense bad trip through the psyche. From the grinding and sludgy dissonant musical arrangement of Spindle through to the epic deluge of album favourite TAP, Scald bring us on a journey through the disturbed and sick mind of 3 Irishmen who are proving the point that there is metal talent on this small island of ours. Just listening to the album with or even without the lyrics one can almost visualise the complete and utter torment these guys have been through with its dead weight, vitriolic pounding of the brain to the quieter passages of the interludes HS01, 2 and 3. These passages serve only to increase the tension created in the songs, there is eerie calm when they seep through the speakers and one is lulled into a false sense of security only to be sent spiralling with your head spinning when the guitars crash back in. For Headworm, at first is a more difficult listen than it’s predecessor and it is easy to hear that a lot of time has been spent on the songs and the guitars really do gain a lot of weight and clarity from the increased production values compared to Nematoid, one can almost chew the claustrophobic tension.
The artwork by the inimitable artist and Scald drummer Paulrus goes hand in hand with the sick and perverted music and anybody who has seen his stuff knows what I am talking about. I think these guys are beyond categorisation but if you like sick and twisted extreme metal with hints of doom, thrash, grind and death along with a plethora of other genres which at all times keeps the dissonant semblance of song structure and, dare I say it, “melodic” focus then this is the album for you.

9.5/10
Darren

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METAL IRELAND.COM.
Album of the month Sept 2003

SCALD 'Headworm'

Having been plugging away on the perimeter of both the Northern Irish and world-at-large scenes now for ten years, Scald have undergone a kind of secret evolution. Whereas most bands with the luxury of a record deal are open to scrutiny from all angles, with pundits judging development with each release, Scald have mutated and evolved away from the hoi polloi and the prying of critical eyes from media and local enthusiast alike. The result? That the subtle evolution this band has undergone since it really hit its stride in '97 has reached its peak, and is now ready to assault the world at large with one ultimate slap in the face. Despite lip service to the contrary, it remains glaringly obvious that few people in our own back yard can actually stomach this band, such is their absolute non-conformism. Anyone can take heavy music - but the type of extreme metal that Scald create is different; different in fact to the point of being that rare quantity, indeed the holy grail of music in general. That is to be indescribable, impossible to relate in terms of another, to have a style and an idiom that is unique. Put simply, nobody out there sounds like this band. And because of its unrelentingly alien assault, punters simply shrug and walk out of gigs confounded.

This cd represents something of another shift for Scald, and in terms of both sound and style it is quite distant from its predecessors. The spacey and alien coldness of the Nematoid duo seems to have served its function and been surplanted - there is nothing on here quite as hopelessly bleak as, say, "Recess". Instead the sound is much more organic, more earthy and a little warmer. The focus therefore shifts to the myriad instrumental rhythm play that the band have indulged themselves in to the fullest on this outing, with none of their previous releases being as overtly technical in execution as this. The effect is unsettling and pummelling. Respite is somewhat hard to find herein, but the atmospheric "Tap" with its shimmering guitars and wholly alien delivery provides one of the more introspective highlights of the cd, as well as being one of the most recognisably Scald pieces.

So whereas this band's defining feature used to be a guitar sound that could slice through sheet metal, we now have a beefed up and fuller picture. The hulking and slothful riffs that make up the slower sections of this cd dominate - and though I'm not by any means a fan of droner style metal, the sheer weight these huge slabs of guitar and drums cause to descend is verging on nihilistic. I enjoy bands that create true bleakness through notes, as opposed to effects and embellishments; but scald must be one of the few who can create such harsh despondency with pure rhythm itself. The result is not doleful "doom" metal, but a scarily lonesome soundscape, oppressive and unrelenting through its obstinate persistence, and the latent crustiness of it all giving it just that little bit more of a push toward oblivion. Separating tracks is more or less pointless, as this is a work best enjoyed complete, and if possible in the dark. Yes, that is a cliché, and a very predictable and handy thing for me to say. But try it - because the difference is unnerving. Stick this one on, relax, let your mind run wild.

In crafting the perfect (THE perfect) compliment of imagery and music, scald have succeeded on so many more levels than can be hoped for by the ordinary band. Scald are an artistic proposition through and through, a fact that is emanated out of every pore of their troglodyte existence. On every level of expression this cd excels whether it be lyrically, artistically or musically. This is a momentous album for Irish metal. For it realises a band a the height of their artistic and visionary power, unique in the world metal scene in every aspect. "Headworm" is the complete vindication of ten years' hard graft, ten years spent defining and perfecting an individual take on extreme metal that will put this band, and hopefully this country, firmly on the map. In their own words: "Order is control is boring" - a definitive Scald quote if there ever was one. And the best thing about such a purely artistic pursuit is that your and my lousy opinion matters not one jot. This is extreme metal art, and few will have the balls for it.

4.7 / 5 - Ciaran Tracey ::: 13/09/03

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Les Acteurs De L'Ombre (France)

Il faut tout d'abord dire qu'il est préférable pour une bonne écoute de cet album de l'écouter dans le noir et très fort.
Ici cet Irish trio nous inonde d'un métal dissonant avec une atmosphère confiné à la limite de la claustrophobie donc si vous aimez ce style, Scald est pour vous. Headworm est le premier « vrai » album de ce groupe bien qu'ils aient fait un nombre assez conséquent de démos.
Revenons à l'album, cet opus de 9 titres d'une durée d'1h arbore une ambiance tant échaudée que morne n'ayant pas de réelle ligne conductrice au fil des titres. On se demande un peu où le groupe veut en venir. Ils oscillent entre des riffs tantôt thrash, tantôt death à la limite du progressif de temps à autre, donc une musique non seulement pas facile à définir mais en difficilement descriptible sans aborder le sujet de la voix. En effet, le chanteur développe une voix pour le moins curieuse à tendance plutôt black métal bien que celle-ci soit plus aigu et encore plus irritante que celle d'un groupe de black.
Cette dernière nuit réellement à une écoute agréable et posée de leur album tant la voix est irritante ce qui est pour le moins dommage car musicalement parlant malgré ce manque de « coordination » celle-ci est d'une réelle qualité et a du potentiel.
Néanmoins il y a encore du travail à fournir pour passer à la vitesse supérieur et susciter l'engouement d'un public éventuel.

5.5/10 – Julie

Crap Babel Fish Trans:

It should first of all be said that it is preferable for a good listening of this album to listen to it in the black and very extremely. Here this Irish trio thus floods us of a dissonant metal with an atmosphere confined in extreme cases of the claustrophobia if you like this style, Scald is for you. Headworm is the first "true" album of this group although they made a rather consequent number of demonstrations. Let us return to the album, this opus of 9 one duration old titles of 1h raises an environment as well scalded as dull not having a real conducting line to the wire of the titles. One wonders a little where the group wants to come from there. They oscillate between riffs sometimes thrash, sometimes death in extreme cases of progressive of time to other, therefore a music not only not easy to define but in not easily describable without tackling the subject of the voice. Indeed, the singer rather develops a at the very least curious voice with tendency black metal although this one is acuter and even more irritating than that of a group of black. This last night really with a listening pleasant and posed of their album so much the voice is irritating what is a pity at the very least bus musicalement speaking in spite of this lack about "coordination" this one is of a real quality and has potential. Nevertheless there is still work required to pass at the speed superior and to cause the passion of a possible public.

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Jedbangers (Argentina)

Con base en Belfast (Irlanda), este trío formado por Peter Dempsey (bajo/voz), Mick Tierney (guitarra) y Paul Mc Carroll (batería) se convierte en una inclasificable banda a la hora de buscar un "lugar" para el sonido y propuesta que practican.
"Headworm" (2003) contiene a lo largo de una hora de duración, influencias varias entre las que se cuentan el doom, el black y el death metal, todo ensamblado de manera tal que para cada canción las estructuras se edifiquen diferentes entre si y creen atmósferas corrosivas, delirantes y enfermas.
Scald no se aferra a ningún estereotipo o lineamiento, sino que propone mediante furiosas y extremas composiciones (no por la velocidad a la que son ejecutadas sino por el clima y ambiente que las rodea) una distinta manera de tocar metal extremo.
Los cambios de ritmo ("Spindie"), la frenética "locura" en ciertos pasajes ("Condensation") o la "desestructuración" compositiva a la que se aferran (en "Tap" la voz aparece pasados los 5 minutos del tema, esgrimiendo los "berridos" mas insoportables que haya escuchado en mucho tiempo, en un tema que sobrepasa los 14 minutos de duración) y todas estas "bondades" en una sola banda.
"Headworm" invita a un viaje por el interno mundo de un ser tan sombrío como apabullante y tan misterioso como encantadoramente enfermo.
Perderse a esta banda puede ser imperdonable. ¡Espero el disco ya!

Gustavo Piccini

Crap Babel Fish Trans:

With base in Belfast (Ireland), this trio formed by Peter Dempsey (bajo/voz), Mick Tierney (guitar) and Paul Mc Carroll (battery) becomes a inclasificable band at the time of looking for "lugar" for the sound and proposal that practice. "Headworm" (2003) it so contains throughout one hour of duration, influences several between which they count doom, black and death metal, everything assembled of way that for each song the structures are built different between if and create corrosive, delirious and ill atmospheres. Scald does not cling to any stereotype or lineament, but that proposes by means of furious and extreme compositions (not by the speed to that they are executed but by the climate and atmosphere that surrounds them) a different way to touch extreme metal. The changes of rate ("Spindle"), frenetic "locura" in certain passages ("Condensation") or "desestructuración" compositiva to which they cling (in "Tap" the voice appears last the 5 minutes of the subject, using "berridos" but unbearable which it has listened in long time, a subject that exceeds the 14 minutes of duration) and all these "bondades" in a single band. "Headworm" it invites to a trip by the internal world of charmingly ill a being as shady as apabullante and as mysterious as. To lose itself to this band can be unforgivable. I wait for the disc already!