“Seven Scrolls as a product of Tuozzoli and Swanson is entertaining and a nice fall back for listeners who look fondly upon the traditional-style heavy metal output of the 1980’s.”
Seven Scrolls/No Cover Covers EP
Seven Scrolls (side A)
Hung Like Jesus
Circle in Hell
No Cover Covers EP (side B)
You’re Not Evil (Black Flag cover)
Curse of the Two Blind People (Satan’s Massacre cover)
Nuns in Black Leather (the Landlords cover)
Metal Anarchy (Warfare cover)
Let’s Play God (the Big Boys cover)
B.C:A.D is a side-project powered by two prolific musicians who perform a blend of punk and heavy metal, in varying degrees. Simon Tuozzoli, of Vestal Claret, is behind every instrument and accompanying him on vocals is Phil Swanson. Phil Swanson has been the voice behind Vestal Claret for over a decade. Along with Vestal Claret, Swanson is active in Sumerlands, Briton Rites and several other bands and has fronted groups such as Hour of 13 and Nightbitch.
Seven Scrolls/No Cover Covers plays like a side-project. A legitimate side project, as opposed to the modern concept of it, a concept where you might get an EP or a 30-40 minute full-length and 12 different t-shirt designs to buy shortly after. While there is a seriousness to the execution and the writing, the attitude and atmosphere of the album is free and open. ‘Fun’ is a word that sees little use on Apanthropy, however, it is a word that describes this release in a very efficient manner.
The heavy metal aspect of Seven Scrolls/No Cover Covers is lost in time, more fitting for the early and mid-eighties than 2017. With a writing and arrangement style reminiscent of Witchfinder General, Cirith Ungol, and Paul Chain, it comes off much like a classic early doom album. The punk aspect is mostly regulated to riffs in conjunction with tempo, drawing from a palette of more ‘rock and roll’ flavored punk such as Fear or the Dead Boys.
Opening Seven Scrolls is ‘Hung Like Jesus’, packing a very speed metal intro/chorus riff and Phil Swanson’s signature booming, clean vocals. Tuozzoli puts a dynamic solo over the bridge towards the end of the track. B.C:A.D come out swinging with ‘Hung Like Jesus’ as it is the heaviest track on the entire release. ‘Thanatos’ is a slower track that is driven by Swanson’s vocals. ‘No Hope’ and ‘Circle in Hell’ bring the faster tempo back and display the first prominent punk ideas on Seven Scrolls as well as Tuozzoli’s set of skills on numerous instruments.
To draw attention to Tuozzoli’s writing, there is a totally unhinged but wildly creative solo that resolves ‘Circle in Hell’. It deserves to be heard.
‘Gypsy Eyes’ nods to Death Penalty-era Witchfinder General while ‘Bastard’ plays like a smoked-out bar room jam session. Seven Scrolls closes with ‘No Friend’, which starts off more akin to ‘Thanatos’ before launching into a punk-infused breakdown.
Side B is the No Cover Covers EP, which, as the title dictates, is comprised entirely of cover songs. Cover songs are great when they work. When they don’t work, it’s usually horrendous. For example, Behemoth covering Nine Inch Nails was like covering a piece of dog shit with burnt hair and holding it up to your nostrils. Six Feet Under has covered full albums, namely AC/DC’s Back in Black, and it made people consider suicide by crushing their skulls in a vice.
The song selections on side B fits well with the general sound of B.C:A.D, so it makes the songs work without misdirecting their original narratives. ‘You’re Not Evil’, a song from Rollins/Ginn era Black Flag, comes out spot on. ‘Curse of the Two Blind People’ is an update to a Satan’s Massacre song, a very short-lived New York band from the mid-80’s. Warfare, Big Boys, and the Landlords covers are all come out staying close to the original formulas.
The production on Seven Scrolls/No Covers Cover EP is very balanced, all instruments are spaced out well and Swanson’s vocals, when driving certain songs, has plenty of room to work in.
This is a very limited release that is worth hunting down. Seven Scrolls as a product of Tuozzoli and Swanson is entertaining and a nice fall back for listeners who look fondly upon the traditional-style heavy metal output of the 1980’s.
Author Note: This EP arrived to Apanthropy courtesy of NoVisable Scars. NoVisable Scars is a Massachusetts-based label specializing in digital and cassette releases. They have released material from acts such as Abazagorath, Profanatica, Vestal Claret, and One Master. Check them out here.