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Metal for the masses

... a Way to Hide
... a Way to Hide
By Scar'd Sanity

Gotham Records: 2006

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This review first appeared in the August 3, 2006 issue of the North County Times.

Back in the mid-1980s, hard rock and heavy metal were all over the pop charts: Ozzy Osborne, the Scorpions, Van Halen, Motley Crue and others found fame and fortune by melding their thick, guitar-oriented music with accessible melodies.

Twenty years on, Oceanside's Scar'd Sanity seems to be taking a similar approach: take the current post-industrial, post-grunge metal, add in elements of screamo and art rock, and then wrap it all around some ... well, some real pretty melodies, to be honest.

While the base sound of Scar'd Sanity is built around the twin guitars of Adam Cunningham (Iead) and Casey Froke, it's the polished vocals of Mike Prince that give the band it's identity. While he can scream with the best of the metal vocalists, it's when he's actually singing in a natural voice that Prince – and the band – are most powerful.

The songs are fresh and imaginative – Scar'd Sanity definitely has more going on musicially than your typical metal or screamo band, with some pretty complex rhythms, difficult key changes, and harmonizing vocals. Yet Cunningham's crunchy guitar leads also make this a band with a lot more edge than any pure pop combo.

On "Suffocate Me," the band seems to perfect the mix of ingredients: Great melody, clean arrangements, soaring, inspired vocals.

It's power balladry at its best.