Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 2/7/2005
Symmetric In Design
posted on 1/2005 By:
It’s nice to see that those boys in Sweden are staying busy. Scar Symmetry is a melodic death supergroup comprised of members that have very formidable groups of their own. On guitar is Jonas Kjellgren of vicious death/thrashers Carnal Forge and Per Nilsson of Altered Aeon. Henrik Ohlsson (Theory in Practice) handles the drumming while Kenneth Seil strums the bass. Lastly, the very talented vocalist of Unmoored, Christian Alvestam, provides one of the best performances in the genre.
Refreshingly, the end result sounds nothing like any of their original bands. What I’m hearing is basically everything that Soilwork is trying to sound like, but Scar Symmetry have them beat in a few critical areas. First are the majestic vocals of Christian. He roars like a beast and could easily land a singing post in a big rock band with his smooth clean vocals. What’s really impressive is that the music accommodates both styles well. There are beefy and thrashy rhythm riffs abound, which act as the main foundation, but also adept soloing by Kjellgren (my apologies if it’s Nilsson). Synthesizer usage is prominent, mostly in the background, sometimes like a solo. Ohlsson’s drumming is impeccable, but the dude was in Theory in Practice, so this is expected. Furthermore, the production is perfect, with a thick guitar tone, sharpness on the high notes, a good balance between the instruments, etc.
The twelve songs enclosed have a very modern metal sound, and while the song composition is lacking in complexity, the fact that I’ve listened to this at least ten times without tiring of the hooks is a testament to its quality. Symmetric in Design is the type of album where everyone will have a different set of favorite songs, depending on which riffs and choruses appeal to them most. “Orchestrate the Infinite” is my fave, opening with a choppy Illdisposed feel, before transferring to a beautiful chorus. They maintain at least a mid-paced tempo throughout the album, so even the clean passages are carried along at a fast clip. “Seeds of Rebellion” and “Reborn” are another pair of hits, but ones that lend themselves to another comparison as one of our boardies noted – riffs similar to Edge of Sanity.
This album might be the pinnacle of this growing post-Gothenburg form of melodic death metal that tries to combine everything: growls, clean vocals, keyboards, solos, and thrashy riffs. Their vocals are better, their riffs have more bite, their rhythm section is tighter, and their synthesizers give more atmosphere. If you liked where Raunchy and Soilwork have been taking their sound on their last few albums, then Scar Symmetry is a must-have for your collection. They’re Gr-r-r-r-eat!
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