The bass guitar has become more prominent in progressive metal. From the latest Cynic EP to the latest Opeth album, it has finally spoken up and made its voice better heard amidst the dominance of the lead electric guitar(s) and keyboards from traditional progressive metal à la Symphony X.

Scale The Summit are part of that small, but steadily growing segment of the modern progressive metal crowd that focuses on heavy usage of ambient guitar effects and a polyphonic texture to create an “introspective” feel to the music. This is perhaps a nod towards the stay-still-in-the-moshpit-and-be-a-philosopher creed of shoegaze, and it works well in my books. After all, it is good to exercise one’s intellectual muscle when young age still allows you to. As the years go by, doesn’t it get more and more tiring to be moshing in the pit all the time?

Tracks that I put on repeat include “Emersion”, “Alpenglow”, “Redwoods” and “Drifting Figures”. Although I must say, every other track is of non-filler quality as well; simply because there is enough variation in musical ideas and the occasional bouts of near silence to keep things interesting.

If the album title and track names are any indication at all, this purely instrumental record must be what nature and its process of evolution sound like in sonic form—beautiful, subtly ever-changing, and essential for (musical) survival.

Track Listing:

01. Colossal [3:48]
02. Whales [6:29]
03. Emersion [2:34]
04. The Levitated [3:02]
05. Secret Earth [3:39]
06. Gallows [4:34]
07. Origin Of Species [2:46]
08. Alpenglow [3:58]
09. Redwoods [4:40]
10. Black Hills [7:59]
11. Balkan [3:45]
12. Drifting Figures [3:10]

Run Time: 50:17
Release Date: March 1, 2011 (USA, Worldwide)

Check out the song: “Gallows”