Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe
Record Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: June 24, 2008
Scar Symmetry is back with their third album. While most bands tend to lose their step by their junior release, these Swedish rockers have kept a firm grip on what captivated their listeners. Combining death metal growls with melodic vocals has settled their genre somewhere in the standard metal range. The instrumentation on Holographic Universe is completely flawless; the riffs are insane, and the solos epic.
What's so special about Holographic Universe? Well, it could be the aforementioned instrumentation. It could also be the powerful vocals of Christian Alvestam. Neither of those, however, create the foundation for my interest in this album. What really stands out is the incredible way that they combine the melodic elements with the harder ones. Sure, there are plenty of bands that mix singing in with their growls, but Scar Symmetry has created the perfect mix of chaos and melody. You won't be assaulted by extended periods of growling, but at the same time, you won't become bored with the melodic vocals.
Starting off, "Morphogenesis" introduces the album perfectly. With a modest amount of growls, a perfect dose of melody, and powerful instrumentation, it's a great example of what's to come. "Quantumleaper" has a great riff, and a bridge that I find immensely interesting. "Artificial Sun Projection" is a bit softer than the rest of the album, and sounds like more of a alternative-metal mixture than the rest of the disc. Contrasting this, "The Missing Coordinates" starts off with an unbelievable riff and breaks straight into devastating growls. With about a minute and a half left for the song, it breaks into a graceful and uplifting riff that slowly escalates into melodic vocals to end the song. "Trapezoid" is pretty impressive vocally, the drummer shows off his skills with a double bass, and there's an impressive solo near the end of the track. "Prism and Gate" is the most in-your-face track of the album. Starting off with powerful growls, it escalates into an amazing chorus where Alvestam displays the higher end of his range quite a bit. "Holographic Universe" looks rather intimidating with its 9 minute run time, but fret not: it's 9 minutes of mayhem. Introducing their first growls at roughly a minute and a half, they slowly bring each piece of their formula in. At around four minutes, they bring in the hardest vocals yet to be heard on the album which come across as more of a death metal scream than a growl. Instrumentation dominates this track; whether it's a solo or just the marvelous riff that commands the track, it's sure to keep you listening.
Scar Symmetry has set the bar for wanna-be melodic metalists everywhere. If you enjoy this side of metal, then sit down, buckle up, and prepare to be engulfed in a Holographic Universe.