SCARIOT – Momentum Shift

SCARIOT - Momentum Shift
  • 10/10
    SCARIOT - Momentum Shift - 10/10


Label: FaceFront Records
Release date: February 12, 2007

User Review
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Scariot was formed in Kristiansand, Norway, in 1997 by Daniel Olaisen (Blood Red Throne, Cobolt 60, ex-Satyricon). During the first couple of years, Scariot had a lot of line-up changes, and the release of their new album Momentum Shift (that marks the 10th anniversary for the band) introduces fans to a completely different line-up than the one on the previous album Strange To Numbers. Now, only the band’s founder and guitarist Olaisen remains. On vocals you’ll find Øyvind Hægeland (ex-Manitou, ex-Arcturus, Spiral Architect), and Steve DiGiorgio is handling the bass (who’s been involved with, among others, Vintersorg, Testament, Iced Earth, Sadus, and Death). Lastly, behind the drum kit is Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect, Borknagar).

The band released their debut album Deathforlorn in 2000 via the small British label Demolition. Still signed to the British label, they recorded Tongueless God in 2001. Scariot split with the label, and the album was technically never released, though the band manufactured some copies on their own. They went on to sign with German label OS Music in 2002, but things didn’t go right, so they cancelled the contract in 2003 and signed with FaceFront Records.

While the previous album, Strange To Numbers, was a lighter Progressive Metal album and more melodic in the style of bands like Fates Warning, Momentum Shift is best described as merciless Thrash Metal meets a dark kind of Progressive Metal.

The opener “Redesign Fear” is made up of fast riffs, double bass drum pedal action and the well-known bass trademarks by DiGiorgio. The riffs are dark and get great backups from Mickelson on drums. DiGiorgio’s unique bass playing style on this one remind of Focus by Cynic. Hægeland’s vocals are plaintive, but soothing. He has an enormous amount of power in his voice and knows how to use it. It’s not the typical Progressive Metal vocals, but it’s simply cool and raw. Once you’ve heard Hægeland’s voice on top of the music, you can’t imagine a vocalist better fit for the band.

“Sickening World” is another impressive piece of work. The drums are steady and solid, and the breaks are awesome. Once again, DiGiorgio provides solid bass play that really makes a great foundation along with the drums, especially when Olaisen plays his formidable guitar solos. Parts of the solo on this one seem very Egyptian-inspired and the solo has a cool melody line to it. Olaisen doesn’t play typical Progressive Metal guitar solos at 2 million notes per minute like you’d expect from guys like John Petrucci (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment) or Michael Romeo (Symphony X) … rather than playing fast, he focuses on the melody and the ability to play a solo that’s beautiful.

“Noble Quest” is the closest you’ll get to a ballad from these guys. It starts slow like a power ballad and Hægeland sings beautifully, and the chorus makes you hum along while you listen to it. Then suddenly they change the pace and play some hard, cool riffs backed up by the double bass drum pedals of Mickelson. On one part, the bass and the guitar are playing a melodic part unison, which is cool to listen to. Then the song returns to the chorus part from earlier in the song and it ends beautifully.

The dark riffs and the Thrash sound continue in “Forming Humans.” It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s a headbanger’s wet dream. Most impressive about this song is the guitar solo. The solo starts off pretty fast, and then goes dual and always sticks to the melody line without becoming boring. It’s by far the best solo on the record.

“Symbolic” is a cover originally played by Death. While the original is more like Progressive Death Metal with scream vocals, Scariot’s version sounds tighter (and perhaps a little faster) with clean vocals. The guitar solo on this one is also great, and doesn’t lack the melody or the speed that the original has. All in all, this cover is a redoubtable piece of work.

None of the songs are under five minutes of length. That gives you approximately fifty minutes of fertile Progressive Thrash Metal. Hægeland’s vocals are incredible and when he’s backed up (by himself) on the choruses, it sounds just amazing. The band may remind you of Nevermore at times, at least if Nevermore played a more Progressive form of Metal. All the music on the record is written by Olaisen, and he has written most of the lyrics as well. When you listen to the record and realize that this is mostly one man’s work, then you will understand what incredible talent Olaisen has.

This album is fantastic and you owe it to yourself to go buy it!


• Daniel Olaisen – Guitars
• Øyvind Hægeland – Vocals
• Steve DiGiorgio – Bass
• Asgeir Mickelson – Drums


  1. Redesign Fear
  2. Nothing Is Forever
  3. Sickening World
  4. Noble Quest
  5. Forming Humans
  6. Vast
  7. Slaves
  8. Symbolic (Death cover)
  9. The Universal


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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