Some say the swedish death metal scene has nothing left to offer, that it is a genre full of bands just trying to be the next In Flames or Dark tranquility, well Scar Symmetry have come into this "scene" and have bascially put out an album that shatters all of these accusations "Pitch Black Progress".
Members: Jonas Kjellgren - Guitar
Per Nilsson - Guitar
Kenneth Seil - Bass
Henrik Ohlsson - Drums
Christian Alvestam - Vocals
Pitch Black Progress isnt Scar Symmetry'a first outing though "Symmetric in Design" was the debut album, it showed promise of a band who could combine the brutal elements of Death metal with the very best of European Melodic metal, but that was only a startm Pitch Black Progress shows grown up Scar Symmetry and a band showing more then just promise.
I First heard of Scar Symmetry after a freind gave me a copy of a Nuclear Blast Promo CD he had recieved, out of every track on that compilation one stood head and shoulders above the rest "The Illusionist". From that point onwards this band have become a serious addiction and vital part of my life.
I Will give a track by track review of this album as it is the only way to give the album the justice it deserves.
1 "The Illusionist"
Well this is the opening track of the album and the synths that start this fantastic song really set that atmosphere and when the raging guitars kick in and the skull shattering drums start to pound away you know your listiing to a great band and it doesnt let down there the rest of the song features Christians amazing vocals ranging from deep growls to soaring harmonzing clean vocals, he truly is an amazing singer reminisent of Opeths Vocalist. Im normally a bit weary of a band using the first track of an album as a single because it leaves the rest of the album open and normaly rather dull.
2 "Slaves To The Subliminal"
This song is like a punch to the face and shows you this is not going to be a dull album! There is heavy riffing from the start and if you thought the growling on the illusionist was violent....your a girl because Christian sounds like a raging demon, but whats this the whole song has changed? How did Christian change from an angry demon into a clean singing angel of a man! The whole song changed pase for an uplifting and memorable two part chorus with an awsome guitar melody in the background making double sure this song sticks in your head for weeks.
3 "Mind Machine"
This track shows off Christians calmer side (even though he is still singing about what seems to be capitolism in a very angry way). The track opens with a guitar riff that will stick in ur head till you old and decrepid. Overall this track is single worthy as it has one of those chorus's you'll find yourself huming for days on end.
4 "Pitch Black Progress"
The titel track of this album is one of the least melodic of the enitre album. Its a freight train of a song with an ok screamed chorus. This is one of my least favourite tracks on the album but it is still a great song. The thing that really saves this song for me is the talked section at the end which leads into the next track. Very cool.
5 "Calculate The Apocalypse"
Another brutal song from Scar Symmetry, and also one of the fist songs i heard by the band. It has pure speed and bruatality in it with an amazing sung chorus/ growled. But the fast pase verses are what really stand out for me and how they seamlesly glide into the chorus's. another great song and one of my favourites i must say.
6 "Dreaming 24/7"
As soon as this song started i knew it was going to be a album favourite, the lead guitar line is breath taking, but what i didnt expect was it to be the "Ballad" of the album. Not that it is a ballad as such just that it is mainly sung. And very well to i may add. This album just gets better and better as it goes on.
7 "Abstracted Mind"
This album does unfortunatly have a few fillier tracks on it, this in my opinion is the first. Nothing on this track really stands out for me, even the solo is completly bland, as if they pulled it out of the metal solo random generator.
8 "The Kaleidoscopic God"
This track then just blows you away, clocking in at over 7 minutes long it is truly immense. The verses are pure brutality, with a typical Scar Symmetry chorus stuck in to give it there signiture sound. Then the solo hits and it is also also immense followed by some of Christians most gutteral growls then into a kind of opera sounding middle 8. This song just keeps on going but never gets boring. A genuis song.
Ok. This is not a signiture Scar Symmetry song and you should be glad to have a bit of variety here! Instead of growling he screams with a distortic effect on his voice, this then leads into the mother of all metelcore chorus's (sorry if i offend anyone by saying that). This is a truly stand out track on this album and deserves the rating it gets.
10 "Oscillation Point"
Another filler song, although it does have an amazing intro, the rest of the track is slightly less exiting though. Theres not much to say here apart from the last chorus is very well done with an accoustic guitar leading up to a final perfect chorus.
11 "The path of least resistance"
Another filler track that i wont really go into.
12 "Carved In Stone"
This track redeems the end of the album very well, With a polished sounding intro leading into a very nice clean verse. This song is very progressive, it just keeps getting heavier.
13 "Deviate From the Form"
Just when you though The Album may have a slightly dissapointing end. This song opens with a riff that slaps you awake, then takes you into an unforgettable clean verse. The pre chorus is brutal, and leading into the inevitable Scar Symmetry chorus. The Middle 8 has stuck in my head for weeks now, it is brutal yet catchy. An Amazing ending.
This is an overall great album, it has its dull moments but the highlights are truly breathtaking.
Very good musicianship.
Very well recorded.
Chorus's will stick in you head for weeks.
Some filler tracks.
Scar Symmetry seem to have a formula and they stick to it. (some may like this others may find it repetitive.
I havnt givin this album any higher then a four because it is not perfect by a long shot but it is well worth buying.