Scar Symmetry
The Unseen Empire


2.0
poor

Review

by Josh Fountain CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
April 16th, 2011 | 290 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Scar Symmetry has released their blandest hits album

Sometimes a band’s steadfast refusal to grow or change their sound is good for their career. It worked for Dark Tranquility because the bands around them had ditched the genre and so them staying the same was their way of saying that they would follow in the footsteps of In Flames or Soilwork, but, as evident with their latest release, even a band who has perfected the formula can become stale if not tinkered around with a little bit. Now Scar Symmetry has been sliding on their formula for quite some time. Their first three albums were well-received not because of their originality, but rather because of their quality songwriting and the skills of vocalist Christian Alvestam. However, Scar Symmetry kicked Christian out of the band in 2008, replaced him with two vocalists, and continued moving along the exact same path. The result was the not-so-well received Dark Matter Dimensions, which had a lot to live up to, but instead of really focusing themselves and taking time to prove that they would be fine without Christian they rushed out a product that doomed itself. That brings us to now, in which Scar Symmetry has reached a crossroads with their fans: are they going to continue trying to sell them the same album over and over again, or will they actually break-out and prove the doubters wrong? The very obvious answer is the former, as Scar Symmetry was far from the most original band in the most recycled genre in metal (obviously other than metalcore.)

The Unseen Empire is a boring, stereotypical album name which fits perfectly with the boring, stereotypical sound of the album. There is literally nothing you can bring up about this album that hasn’t been done before and heaps better. The guitar lines, the vocal progression, none of it. Scar Symmetry had already stretched their sound to its limits two albums ago and everyone could feel it. Listening to Holographic Universe that feeling creeped up of “this is good, but I can’t deal with another album of this exact same sound,” and yet here we are, two albums later, and nothing has changed. No more than thirty seconds go by at any point in any song before you swear to yourself that you have heard this before on a previous album. The vocals are the most unlistenable part of the album, because they have two vocalists, and both of them have the most boring, repetitive vocals on the planet. The growler sounds like every monotonous low growler to enter the metal genre, and the singer seems to sing the same chorus in every song. The only thing new (to them) that they have brought to the table is a couple half-assed djenting riffs that absolutely do not work in any form. It was nice to hear simply for the fact that it was something different, however thousands of unknown bands every day are cropping up trying to make themselves popular by ripping off Meshuggah riffs, so it is still nothing that you can’t hear off a ton of other albums.

Probably the most infuriating part of The Unseen Empire is the fact that Scar Symmetry has the potential to be relevant and even a leader of the genre, all the skills are there. It just seems that the band is more interested in sitting in their comfort zone, which is seen far too often in the Melodic Death Metal genre. Looking at Scar Symmetry you can’t help but notice that they are a microcosm of everything that has caused melo-death to completely stagnate. I have respect for bands that take three years to release an album so that they can try new things, even if they fail, because at least I know that they are pushing themselves. What I cannot respect is a band that rests on their laurels and releases the same album every year and a half (really?) so that way they can fool their fans time and again into thinking that they release something new and different just for some more money.



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user ratings (236)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • eyesofapocalypse (5)
    They proved they could go on without Christian after all....

    NoFalseHope (3.5)
    The Unseen Empire won't make album of the year, but if you were disappointed about Dark Ma...

    CJISASKANK (4)
    Scar Symmetry redeem themselves...

    simonpettersen (4)
    It’s not their best album, and not their weakest and if you’re a Scar Symmetry fan you...

  • Adam Gola (4.5)
    After their previous comparatively bland and rushed effort, Scar Symmetry deliver a piece ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2011


8010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album is only good if it is the first melodeath album that you have ever heard, and even then you will probably be bored out of your skull

Digging: Beach Slang - Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street

Alucard125
April 16th 2011


535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is such a huge improvement from DMD, which sucked massive bland balls. I like the fact that they've reintroduced the same production style from Holographic Universe, whilst making it significantly different with the new singers.

1 listen through and Im happy. Now to see if it has lasting appeal...

XfingTheSullen
April 16th 2011


2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

A good review and I appreciate your opinions, but one thing... please tell me who's a non-monotonous low growler? It's kinda hard to sound non-repetitive with this particular style of vocalization, y'know...

Digging: Scar Symmetry - The Singularity (Phase 1 ? Neohumanity)

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2011


8010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

every purely low growler is monotonous

jingledeath
April 16th 2011


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sucky album

Alucard125
April 16th 2011


535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Second listen through and still not bad...although it seems that with the new singers the band forgot how to end an album well. Anticlimax.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agree with the rating

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

xist
April 16th 2011


171 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Having listened to this all i can think of is Gothenpop or Poppenberg. Awful....at least it's short...

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

^

Crysler
April 16th 2011


74 Comments


Oh come on guys, it's a big jump from that previous crap. At least in the production department. I like their sound and especially their guitar tunes, although as you said it, the vocalists (particularity the clean one) are unlistenable...

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2011


5209 Comments


always been prettyy bad

Darkwatch025
April 16th 2011


186 Comments


what a fucking retard. This album is one the most diverse, original, amazing fucking pieces of work I have heard in this genre. Even if you don't like this band, how can you deny that they are super talented? This site if full of fucking pussies

TimeShredder
April 16th 2011


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think any of us are denying they have talent... they just don't explore out of their comfort zone. Pretty much a problem with 90% of Melodic Death Metal bands.

R6Rider
April 16th 2011


4681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good way to get your point across darkwatch

btw there's countless bands and guitarists that have plenty of talent, doesn't mean they can write good music though

Digging: Diocletian - Gesundrian

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2011


5209 Comments



what a fucking retard. This album is one the most diverse, original, amazing fucking pieces of work I have heard in this genre. Even if you don't like this band, how can you deny that they are super talented? This site if full of fucking pussies


sucks sorry

Darkwatch025
April 16th 2011


186 Comments


Gaslightanthem, u are a moron, sorry

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2011


5209 Comments


yeah man

apology accepted

Darkvoid67
April 16th 2011


383 Comments


Much better written than that other fanboy piece of crap. One listen in and I really can't tell the difference, other than production wise between this and their last piece of shit

CIRES
April 16th 2011


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree totally.
I was really looking forward to this album after hearing bits and pieces of each song. But after actually fully listening to all of the songs, i was very disappointed.
You get a CD with nine songs that all sound very similar to one another.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2011


8010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Darkwatch seems a little butthurt



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