Scar Symmetry
Dark Matter Dimensions


3.0
good

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
October 6th, 2009 | 112 replies | 23,498 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Melodeath: The Generic Way

5 of 6 thought this review was well written

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This may seem very paradoxical, but in some cases, the saying really applies. Sometimes a change in a band lineup induces a change in musical style, but sometimes nothing at all happens. This is the case on Scar Symmetry's new record Dark Matter Dimensions as well. They kicked out iconic vocalist Christian Alvestam, and got two new singers in his place (one for growls, one for clean vocals). And guess what; nothing changed very much.

Scar Symmetry still sound like their previous records. Even the vocals haven't changed that much. Robban Karlsson has a meaty growl that's comparable to his predecessor. Lars Palmqvist has clean vocals that sound like Christian's too, just slightly less bluesy. It's like out of all the people that auditioned, they chose the two vocalists that sound like carbon copies of the previous. The only different thing is that what Palmqvist is singing, vocal-line wise, is cheesy and miserably poppy. Scar Symmetry were never a really full out death metal band anyway, and they always had catchy leads and sing-along choruses, but this guy sounds like he could sing for a pop band. There are still vocal lines that induce sugar poisoning all over the album, next to the more brutal growls and the aggressive yet slightly melodic guitarwork. In fact, their new singer is reminiscent of Sonic Syndicate.

Instrumentally the whole record gets a gold star. Jonas Kjellgren's riffs aren't virtuosic but they work in context of every song. His leads are stellar and you can clearly tell the guitar players have perfected their playing and work in perfect tandem to create those thundering riffs and harmonised lead guitar solos. The band still draws from Iron Maiden and co. as much as they do from modern Swedish metal acts (this would not be out of place between the new In Flames and the new Soilwork). There exists bass work, and it's not really relevant because it all works in context but it's not flashy and in your face. There is double bass drumming and a variety of good fills and grooves. None of it is exciting enough to get a drum nerd salivating, but it's all very well composed and arranged and every little musical ditty fits the songs to a T. It's just that this album feels like a case of "we've heard it all before".

That may be the biggest drawback with this record. It feels stale and unoriginal. Yes, it's a batch of new songs, but it's just old songs in a modern coat. There are no stylistical differences between this and the previous three records (not even the liberal amount of keys and synth work changes this because this too was prevalent on the previous records). The only difference is that this time around, their clean singer is more annoying because he sounds extremely saccharine (Alvestam's clean vocals were squeaky clean too, but they just straddled the line between annoying and awesome). Other than that, nothing has changed in Swedish Death Metal Land (It's like La-La Land, but the inhabitants say let's do a sideproject sometime of let's do lunch sometime). Popsicles and a warm summer's day. Beer and crisps on a night out. Scar Symmetry and soft-spectrum melodic death metal. I guess they didn't surprise us with banjo metal or anything...

6 Popsicles on a warm Swedish metal festival out of 10.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



17119 Comments


6 Popsicles on a warm Swedish metal festival out of 10. lol. great write up.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is out in Europe. So I get to review it, fuckers.

zuzek
October 6th 2009



748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Essentially not an entirely bad review, but you could've done your research. It's not Robban but Roberth, the lead guitar is largely taken care of by Per Nilsson, not Jonas Kjellgren. There are differences with earlier material, although I'm inclined to agree the differences aren't great (Mechanical Soul Cybernetics as an exception).

The growls and cleans do sound very different with the most important result that the melodic vocals composition is unlike before. I agree that it's not for the best in most cases, but Lars has his moments. Roberth sounds like a stronger growler altogether.

Again, review isn't necessarily bad but definitely not one of your best. It reads too much like a generic rant and doesn't sound like you've taken your time to listen to the material.

ameypv
October 6th 2009



807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

couldnt agree more with your summary.great review.

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know it's Roberth. Robban is his nickname.

And Jonas also plays lead/rhythm guitar. Along with Per. It's a double tandem.

Mordecai.
October 6th 2009



8256 Comments


just got Altmered

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

how does someone get altmered.

CerberusLives
October 6th 2009



49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I agree with all of this - sounds like a bunch of songs recorded for Holographic Universe that didn't make the cut. Still very listenable, but not a step up in any way.

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah all in all it's listenable enough but there's something about the clean vox that irks me, it's too saccharine, although the vocals are great in every respect other than that

fireaboveicebelow
October 6th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this doesn't deserve a positive review

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I see 3 as slightly above average. I'm not in love with the album either.

Phrike
October 6th 2009



1691 Comments


Lamest song titles ever

Scar Symmetry were never a really full out death metal band anyway


For me they never were even remotely death metal nor melodeath

jingledeath
October 6th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Huge disappointment although I should've seen it coming after Alvestam left. I think I only enjoyed one song from this and I don't even remember what it's called so I'm lowering my rating to a 2.

Wizard
October 6th 2009



18785 Comments


Melodeath: The Generic Way

Sums up the bands career.

Alvestam's clean vocals were squeaky clean too, but they just straddled the line between annoying and awesome

They were never awesome. Vocalists like that are a dime a dozen.

Awesome review dude. These guys have always been waving the flag of suckage.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



16016 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

This album is bad, I enjoyed their other work to a certain extent, especially their first album.... but enough is enough! Good review Altmer.

Digging: Katatonia - Kocytean

pizzamachine
October 6th 2009



12568 Comments


New singer is too power metal.

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't detect power metal in it... it's not high and operatic and ripping off Dickinson. It's more -core clean vocals.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



16016 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Agreed, their singer isn't really power metal at all.

zuzek
October 6th 2009



748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My bad, cheers for pointing out my mistakes Altmer.

BallsToTheWall
October 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Has Swedish metal finally been raped of all it's glory? Perhaps it is time for Raptor Jesus to close Seden off forever.



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