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The Collective

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Album Review

Instrumental metal will always have a more limited appeal than metal with vocals, but Scale the Summit's particular brand might have more crossover potential than that of their shred-happy peers. This quartet — two guitarists, bass, and drums — writes proggy compositions that gradually unfold, rather than brief heads followed by endless wanky solos. They're much more about two-guitar interplay, and even expressive rhythm section work, than about mere showboating. This is a crucial strategy that permits their albums — not only The Collective, but its predecessor Carving Desert Canyons, too — to be listened to from front to back without the listener growing weary. A piece like "Drifting Figures" lives up to its title: it's a multifaceted composition, starting out as a spacy ballad with repetitive figures from one guitar balancing long notes from another, as the bass performs jazz fusion-ish loops beneath and the drummer goes tastefully wild, but then picks up speed and becomes more rockin' — and that's typical of Scale the Summit, not only the complexity and multi-stage writing, but the smooth transitions between sections and between tracks. The Collective is a cohesive aesthetic experience, meant to be heard from beginning to end, and listeners with the (relatively minimal — it's only 45 minutes long) patience to do that will find themselves amply rewarded.

Customer Reviews

A great third album

Their music in this album has took a great leap forward in both technique and sound. The Collective has a great mix of beautiful melodies, rythm and heavy pieces. If you like Carving Desert Canyons, you'll love this album. Scale the Summit is going in a great direction here, and their music is maturing. can't wait to see what they do next.

Noodly Goodness

There's no doubting the technical skills on display here, but I'd like a little more metal, and a little less jazzy, noodly, wanky, soloing. Crisply produced. If you like Animals as Leaders or Dream Theatre, you'll like Scale the Summit. My favourite track: Gallows. Enjoy!


A great album. Many great songs on here. "Balkan" singlehandedly justifies the trend of having two guitarists.


Formed: 2004 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The origins of instrumental heavy metal group Scale the Summit date to 2004, when guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier met as students at the Los Angeles Musicians Institute, then came into contact with fellow scholar and drummer Pat Skeffington, before completing their lineup with bassist Jordan Eberhardt several months later. Two years of rehearsal and sonic self-discovery followed until, at the end of 2006, all of the musicians relocated to Letchford's hometown of Houston, Texas and finished...
Full bio
The Collective, Scale the Summit
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Customer Ratings