Sound — 10
The four-piece all instrumental progressive tech metal band Scale The Summit has done it again yet with their newly released masterpiece The Collective. Being the follow up to the looming and ever so impressionable Carving Desert Canyons, Scale the Summit has peaked the musical interests of fans all over by proving their musicianship has no bounds and neither does there ability to keep a steady, successful formula from album to album.
Lyrics — 10
"Their Strings Are Their Voices" is what any STS fan would say to critics who question there instrumental chops and it seems to prove true through their music. Even some of their merchandise has those exact words on it. With that being said Scale The Summits does not need a vocalist for I feel it would limit the music in many aspects greatly therefore, Scale The Summit remains a instrumental band.
Overall Impression — 9
01. Colossal: with an ambient almost larger than life feel starting the song going into an impressive array of solos this track gives a great sense of foreshadowing of whats to come. 02. Whales: being the first single on the album whales portrays the skills of all the members pretty solidly for being just one song and ends with a near "Sim City" sounding clean outro. 03. Emersion: this song might have the strangest solo scale I've heard STS start a song with yet, but ontop of that the mixing (on my copy at least) seems to drop drastic volume levels at 0:35 but other than that a nice short sweet song. 04. The Levitated: this song really outlines STS amazing tapping skills and techniques very well from start to end and like its name leaves you feeling quite "Levitated" with musical satisfaction. 05. Secret Earth: starts with a clean guitar and then swings in an impressive bass solo on the contrast and then with a melodic rhythm leads up to a great solo and song. 06. Gallows: the second single for The Collective starts with a STS first (Since Omni from Monuments), which is a drum fill being the initial intro. Breaking down into a descending verse it leads up to a memorable dual solo with the bass and guitar ending the song. 07. Origin Of Species: starts off quite bleak and repetitive but ends with a very memorable outro with the bass as the lead rhythm and the guitars coming in with a very melodic sound off. 08. Alpenglow: as much as I hate to point it out, the intro ringed of a similar structure to "Chicagos Finest" intro but as far as that goes and completely different genres go, this surely tops any of Emmures work in a heartbeat, with that being said this particular track is what I might consider a filler but still good just not in comparison to the rest of the album. 09. Black Hills: quite possibly the most standout and impressive song on The Collective this song has everything that defines STS and then some, with an amazing yet out of place interlude this track from start to finish takes you on a journey through wherever the sounds take you and then lulls you back into reality with a soothing rainstorm ending the song. 10. Balkan: flowing fluently right from Black Hills, Balkan is almost Black Hills pt. 2 or maybe an epilogue to the story but never the less amazing in itself and a must-hear track. 11. Drifting Figures: another amazing song this track is the end of the journey that The Collective takes you on and sounds like a goodbye lullaby to the listener, staying soft and clean yet ending abruptly on a high note that leaves you wanting more but still satisfied. One thing I love about Scale The Summit is that even with no words or lyrics you can get the story they are portraying just through the short song titles that seem to ever so perfectly fit the music that follows the name. And even with that its like each song is a new adventure a new destination with it being up to you exactly where that may be. My only quarrel with this album would be the drastic drops in volume level and longer than needed gaps in and between certain parts, but as far as mixing and whatnot goes I'd call this album a 9.5/10. STS fan or not this album is extremely enjoyable for anyone who is a fan of progressive/instrumental/tech metal/post rock/ambient/atmospheric music.