Scar Symmetry hail from Sweden and as you would expect they play a by the numbers melodic death metal, the only difference between them and the rest of the pack is that they go to an extreme, from a guttural neck breaking death metal to hyper melodic clean vocals, in a world where melodic death metal is synonymous with In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, were the formula is almost to shout your way through to a clean vocal chorus, it’s actually refreshing to see a band play death metal with melody, so let’s have a look at what “Pitch Black Progress” has to offer.
It all starts off with “The Illusionist” and starts off very well, kind of slowish, building up to a Nile-like guttural vocals, damn if it’s not hard, and damn if the clean vocals aren’t crisp like hell, to the highest end of melody, it’s quite compelling, great chorus and some electronic and simple solo to the mix, great first track, then comes up “Slaves to the Subliminal” and again you get that voice, damn they play fine death but that voice is fucking powerful, especially because you get that sweet melodic contrast, and it’s a big contrast, fantastic catchy chorus, and again some guitar solos, it seems their formula is to go back and forth between the high ends (guttural/clean) all the way through, that just emphasis’s the sense that they are on high ends, he must suffer like hell singing this stuff, since he switches like 6 times per track-
“Mind Machine” is slower paced track, even not to the standard of the last 2, it’s still quite catchy, “Pitch Black Progress” is just the death metal part, freaking breaking all the way through, a “fuck melody” kind of track the chorus just raises the heaviness, “Calculate the Apocalypse” sounds like old school Fear Factory, with it’s hookiness, the melodic chorus comes from nowhere and you get a sorta 8bit solo from the guitars, nice work, and nice track, “Dreaming 24/7” plays and works like a standard melodic death metal track, but shit you not, the played down music just boosts the vocals even more, “Abstracted” is loads of fun, the vocalist somewhat changes his guttural voice to a speedier version, i guess for a speedier track, it doesn’t hit the spot but its fun nevertheless, ohhh and maybe it has the best guitar solo on the album.
“The Caleidoscopic God” is another twist, instead of going for the death metal, they go to a mixture of speed/thrash metal and it fucking rocks or should i say metals, about half way through you get into the “what the fuck” part, when they start adding hardcore, heavy metal, guitar solos… great track, even though you could make 2 tracks from it, “Retaliator” sounds a bit like hardcorish/punk mixed with death, with shouted vocals, but again the chorus is catchy like hell, “Oscillation Point” is the opposite of “Pitch Black Progress”, with a slower pace and mostly clean vocals, really nice, and again a over the top melodic chorus, with a sweet guitar solo, again an excellent track, “The Path of Least Resistance” again back to the groovy death metal, it probably has the catchiest chorus, “Carved in Stone” is probably the weakest track, it just doesn’t engage me, “Deviate From The Form” is the last track, sounds like a mixture of power metal and death metal with quite a extensive use of electronics, again not that great, but not to the point of disappointment, and that’s it, the album is done.
After listening a couple of times to the album i think i will never look back to melodic death metal the same way, i think Scar Symmetry take the genre to another level, by i guess, taking it literally, the name of the game is Melodic Death Metal, so i would expect to listen to melody and to listen to death metal, not unlike other bands on the genre that play a washed up repeated to exhaustion, here you have melodic death metal like it’s meant to be played (like if Nile decided to start playing melodic death metal), the added brushes with other genres to spice things up is just an added bonus, so if your into melodic death metal you have to listen to Scar Symmetry latest, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.
Official Site Scarsymmetry
Scar Symmetry – The Illusionist