Scar Symmetry

Holographic Universe

Written by: NB on 05/09/2008 14:12:02

I can think of a few albums in the last few years which have suffered from a lack of new ideas or what a more cynical person might call "easy money syndrome". They are albums like "A Sense of Purpose" by In Flames and the last Arch Enemy album "Rise of the Tyrant", where the songs are all good but you get the feeling that the band aren't quite as passionate about the product as they used to be. You can see what I am driving at: "Holographic Universe" is just such an album.

As melodic death metal the songs are definitely solid and most of them have catchy choruses but there is a lack of variety. There doesn't, on first listening, seem to be any stand out song such as "The Illusionist", "The Kaleidoscopic God" and "Chaosweaver" on the old albums. If I had to choose a couple I'd say that "Morphogenesis" and "Artificial Sun Projection" are the ones that stick in my mind, which incidentally are the two the band has picked for their Myspace page.

I have briefly met and drunk with the bassist from the band and he can only be described as "quite mad". So (if he's anything to go by) I am slightly disappointed that Scar Symmetry, now well established, should be so restrained and sensible with the sound of the new material. They have changed their sound since their previous release but perhaps not enough and perhaps not for the better. Gone are the spectacular mid-to-high range vocal solos from "Pitch Black Progress". These have been replaced with some vaguely annoying, high-pitched chants on some of the new songs. I can't help but think that without the heavy drumming and guitars this would actually be 70s pop music.

This, however, is not the end of the matter. The fact is that there simply aren't that many bands out there who have a sound like this, so it's okay that they are slightly formulaic and move only very slowly in new directions. And that sound is sublime. The balance of high range catchy melody, synth and brutal, metal rhythm is so easy on the ears that it's near impossible not to love every minute of the album. Come to think of it those annoying, high pitched wails are actually pretty unique, quirky and operatic. It's poppy and it's good for it. I don't know: Scar Symmetry, Nightwish... perhaps I should give up on metal and become an Abba fan.


Download: Morphogenesis, Artificial Sun Projection, Holographic Universe
For The Fans Of: In Flames, Sonic Syndicate
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.06.2008
Nuclear Blast

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