Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Initial Impressions: Scar Symmetry: The Unseen Empire

It's kind of sad really. Scar Symmetry had a lot of promise. They released three great albums of Gothenburg-styled melodeath early on last decade. Lead by the incredible vocal talents of Christian Alvestam and the songwriting skills of Jonas Kjellgren, Scar Symmetry blended styles of metal with a remarkable pop sensibility. Unfortunately, Alvestam was involved in a lot of other projects and was not interested in making Scar Symmetry his main band.

After Alvestam left, the band continued, bringing on two singers, one clean and the other extreme to make up for the loss of what Alvestam could do himself. The result was the lackluster Dark Matter Dimensions. I was hoping it was a misstep, one that would be corrected with time and a new album. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The problem starts with the production. This is too polished to the point that it sounds sterile. There is no power to it. It is produced the way a pop album would be, which does not fit death metal, melodic or otherwise.

The songwriting is not impressive this time around either. There are a few decent tracks here, but it does not break any new ground. This album just recycles old ideas from prior Scar Symmetry albums. The songs have also lost a lot of the progressive structures that made the band's first three albums interesting. It's not that this is a bad album, it just is not what I hoped it would be.

When all is said and done, this is just a run of the mill melodeath album. Unfortunately, Scar Symmetry used to be so much more. It's kind of sad, really.

1 comment:

  1. Hm, I agree about the production. But I thought the album in general was a big improvement over Dark Matter Dimensions. I guess it's one improvement after another to get on the track to where they once were, although I must admit the album fell off my listening list. I haven't spun it in a little while.