SCARECROW / INDULGENCE - Deo Optimo Maximo (THRASHING MADNESS CD 2016)
Thrashing Madness comes back with their another piece of Polish Metal Classics, introducing us to Scarecrow and Indulgence. The story of these bands goes back to 1987, when Scarecrow was formed in Bydgoszcz. In their short history they basically recorded just one official demo “Deo Optimo Maximo” in 1989 and soon split up. A while later, in 1992, some Scarecrow members formed Indulgence and again did one demo “Embodiment of Evil” and split up. Now these relics of the ancient metal scene from Poland are available on great quality CD (with additional DVD!). And as usual, Thrashing Madness did excellent job, when preparing their release. The booklet for this CD is so fat that it can barely fit the jewel case and brings a lot of information about these two bands, with interview, scans of photos and old zines interviews and other stuff plus some comments on Scarecrow and Indulgence from few old Polish metalheads. So, the presentation is as usual, very, very good. As for the music, I cannot say that I’m big follower of these two bands, because I’m not, but they recorded some decent demos, so I won’t say a bad thing about them.
Scarecrow’s “Deo Optimo Maximo” strikes with killer, furious and vicious… hmm, some call it black, some death, some other people call it obscure thrash metal. It’s not easy to label this music. It’s just like with Sodom’s debut EP. You can call it black metal or thrash… One thing is certain: it sounds very archaic these days. Scarecrow music has similar evil, nasty feeling and mostly is very, very fast, sick and morbid, what I like a lot. Their songs are short, never crossing two minutes, so they’re like short outbursts of maniacal aggression. I especially like their first three tracks, they’re surely the best, especially “Ostatni Sakrament”. Later, in such “Kurwa matka” or “Jestem w tobie” Scarecrow tried to come up with a bit different arrangements, used some spoken vocals, but I don’t like the result so much, these vocals suck badly. I do like the production though. It’s very rough, but I love their guitar tone.
As a bonus for Scarecrow part, we get here also three rehearsal recordings, but they’re not so interesting to be honest, just fillers in my opinion. No vocals there, not the best sound quality (luckily, it’s not tragic also), just three short tracks that can be easily skipped.
And then we have Indulgence. I remember that some tracks from their “Embodiment of Evil” demo were played in local radio metal show back in the early 90’s and I had it taped back then. But that was long long time ago and I don’t remember it at all now. So, it’s cool to come back to this band after so many years. Indulgence has something in common with Scarecrow, as their music is also often very fast, but stylistically it seems to be more traditional, rather simple and archaic thrash / death metal, with quite raw production (which definitely could have been better, with heavier guitars, etc) and quite harsh vocals. I like some of these songs, especially “Darkness” (killer idea to use funeral march in one of the slower riffs) or “First was the Wind”. Some other songs are much more mediocre, but it’s OK. And they end up with killer Exodus cover, so…
…so what else can I write? These two bands are not among my favourite 90’s Polish metal bands, they’re not even in my top 20, but they surely had been an important part of the Polish metal hell. As a proof, Vader recently did Scarecrow’s cover for their “Future of the Past II – Hell in the East” compilation of covers.
PS. Sorry, but I had no time to watch the DVD yet, so I cannot write anything about it, other than it features old VHS recordings of 1992 gigs.
Final rate: ----