Scar Symmetry

The Unseen Empire

Written by: PP on 09/09/2011 03:53:48

Much has been said about Christian Älvestam's split with Scar Symmetry after the release of "Holographic Universe" in 2008. Older fans will always struggle to accept the Karlsson/Palmqvist vocal mix as a compensation for his clean vocal talent, but the truth is that Scar Symmetry still sounds like Scar Symmetry on their fifth album "The Unseen Empire". The new vocal combo may never be able to replicate the awesome dynamic of their older material, but Id say "The Unseen Empire" comes pretty close on a number of tracks.

Strictly musically speaking, Scar Symmetry still balance themselves on a fine line between melodic death metal and pop metal, perhaps leaning slightly more towards the latter than in the past this time around. Sonic Syndicate, Solution. 45 (Christian's new band, who sounds exactly like Scar Symmetry by the way), and Soilwork are all good comparisons, though the pop metal sound of Dead By April rises its head on tracks like "The Anomaly" and "Domination Agenda". This might raise some eyebrows with the 'tr00' metalheads (who I suppose would avoid Scar Symmetry albums like plague anyway), but as if to appease them, they also have tracks like "Seers Of The Eschaton", which reference the classic In Flames-led Gothenburg melodeath sound with hard-hitting choruses and beautiful dual guitar sections to underscore that Scar Symmetry isn't just some mainstream band to be thrown around.

Nonetheless, "The Unseen Empire" positions itself right in between the two styles. It may provide a bridge for the pop metal fans to move into something heavier (though still melodic) within the same genre, but also as an example that you can be heavy, play metal, and still sound melodic and easily accessible in the process. Yeah, you'll run into prog/power metal-esque passages every now and then, but the growled vocals and the huge choruses are worth the wait in each song. It's not a classic, but a solid follow-up and further proof that Scar Symmetry can exist without Älvestam as well.


Download: The Anomaly, Seers Of The Eschaton, Domination Agenda
For the fans of: Dead By April, Sonic Syndicate, Solution .45, Soilwork, In Flames
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.04.2011
Nuclear Blast

SCAR SYMMETRY - Extinction Mantra by NuclearBlastRecords

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