Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Favorite New Bands of the 2000's Pt. 10: Scar Symmetry

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath for the last post in this series. No? Whatever, it's my blog.

To recap, here are the other groups I have discussed:
Lair of the Minotaur
Swallow the Sun
The Black Dahlia Murder
Trench Hell

Okay, now that that's out of the way, here's the final entry in the list of Top 10 Favorite New Bands of the 2000's: Scar Symmetry.

Scar Symmetry is a Swedish band that combines melodeath with some almost power metalesque vocals on occasion. Chief behind this is former singer Christian Alvestam, who has one of the most interesting voices in metal. The production is always very clean, allowing the listener to hear everything going on, and trust me, there's a lot of stuff happening. Sometimes it does border on sterility, but for the most part with the futuristic-sounding music and lyrical themes, that actually comes off as a good thing. The riffs are performed in a fairly basic Gothenburg style, and they are added to by lots of melodic keyboard passages. The choruses are infectious and oftentimes pop-inflected.

Alvestam delivers three types of vocals. He has some pretty deep death growls, a raspier vocal style, and some amazing clean vocals. He truly is a gifted singer. Unfortunately, he left Scar Symmetry prior to their fourth album and had to be replaced by two singers to cover the same ground Alvestam covered himself.

I have all four full-length Scar Symmetry albums and will now share some brief thoughts about each one:

SYMMETRIC IN DESIGNThe band's debut album found them fully formed. This is not terribly surprising as main songwriter Jonas Kjellgren is a veteran of bands such as Dellamorte and Carnal Forge. The band had already discovered their sound, a poppy Gothenburg style, but they were not In Flames ripoffs at all. Alvestam's vocals lead the charge backed by Kjellgren's impressive playing.

PITCH BLACK PROGRESSThis was the first album I owned by Scar Symmetry, picking it up after hearing a song on Music Choice just prior to going out on a road trip. This one immediately made me a fan of the band. It's a little bit darker than most of their other material, with more emphasis on the death metal vocals. The songs are a little tighter and catchier still. This remains my favorite Scar Symmetry album.

HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSEThe first time I heard this, I did not care for it much, but it definitely grew on me. It's not quite as good as the previous album, but it has what I consider to be the band's best song on it, "Quantum Leaper".

DARK MATTER DIMENSIONSThis is the first album since Alvestam left. His successors do an admirable job of replacing him, but it's just not the same. It will be interesting to see where the band goes from here. They definitely have the songwriting abilities to keep things going for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to look into them. I've heard OF them, but I don't think I've ever actually heard them.