Formed by two former Napalm Death members (Nic Bullen and Mick Harris) , Scorn eventually became a one-man show run by Harris after Bullen’s departure. Musically, it have little to nothing to do with either of musician’s past work and while their early work still retained traces of traditional rock music, Scorn’s later/current output is all about sonic abstraction in various forms, with some of the critics defining it as “dark dub” and “isolationism”.
Scorn released “Vae Solis” (“Black Sun”, in Latin), an album which contained some references to Napalm Death’s quintessential album “Scum”. For one, it featured three original members of ND (Bullen, Harris and Broadrick) and while not as terrificaly heavy/noisy as “Scum”, it was still a fine blend of dub, industrial and rock music, somewhat similar to what Broadrick’s Godflesh project was doing at a time.
1994 “Colossus” prompted some critics to use the term “isolationism”, a word that was used to describe some of the bands that came out of England in the 90s and mixed industrial/experimental music and rock music in equal proportions. The album was full of unsettling samples and drum-n-bass lines, which would eventually become Scorn’s trademark. However, in their review of the album All Music Guide while the album is enjoyable, similar ground was covered earlier in such albums as Fripp / Eno’s “An Index Of Metals”.
By 1995 Bullen had left the band and Harris’s first release as the only member of Scorn was an album of remixes “Ellipsis.” It featured contributions from the likes of Coil, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Autechre, Bill Laswell and Scanner, among others.
“Gyral” became Scorn/Harris first full-length recorded since the departure of Bullen and is seen by many as a transitional record. It was far more beat-oriented than Scorn’s later albums and was described equally as being loaded with “spare, repetitive rhythms and drum loops providing a tether for dark, brooding atmospherics and harsh, effects-heavy samples“ (All Music Guide) and “the encapsulation of John Cage’s famous dictum that nothing is boring, that if you dread doing something for five minutes, try it for ten” (Stylus Magazine).
More albums followed, as the band (or Harris himself) continued into the 90s – 1996 saw the release of “Logghi Barogghi”, 1997 saw re-release of 1993 “White Irises Blind” and the release full-length “Zander” and live record “Whine”, both of which came out on Invisible label, whereas previously Scorn recorded for (primarily) metal label Earache.
Scorn further switched labels for next releases – 2000 “Greetings From Birmingham” and 2002 “Plan B” came out on Hymen label, while 2007 “Stealth” came out on Ad Noiseam. 2004 “List Of Takers” contained one long track recorded live in Birmingham in 2003. The latest material by Scorn (as of 2008) came out on Combat Recordings and it was recently announced that Scorn will also release 2 12″ records for California based Record Label Records.
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