Scar Symmetry

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Scar Symmetry have posted a new track, "Morphogenesis", on their MySpace page.

Some of you may have seen me raving (eh Raven? ;) ) about this band in the year 2006, when their second album came out. Since their new album (called "Holographic Universe") will come out next month (June 20th), it's a good occasion to introduce them (again).

Scar Symmetry is a very talented band from Sweden.




They play powerful, melodic, catchy(!), groovy and at times dark sounding, progressive and pretty technical metal. The vocalist grunts, screams and also does the clean vocals. The guitarists play both lead and sometimes you can hear some harmonies which should appeal to Maiden fans. The rhythm section underneath really kicks major ass, putting the right accents and drive in every song. This band is gifted with good songwriting. The drummer and the vocalist do the majority of the lyrics and both guitar players are responsible for most of the music. I can confidently say that this is the most promising band I've heard in years. The older bands from Scandinavia have to work harder to keep up with the quality work of Scar Symmetry. I feel a New Wave Of Scandinavian Heavy Metal coming up!  ;)

Would someone help me with analyzing (some of) the lyrics of this new track Morphogenesis? What I can hear sounds damn interesting:

(bridge)
Thoughts that force discordance away
Once more the mirror is fading
Whatever dreams will reach into claim
Inside’s the path we are taking


(chorus)
Gone forever
We are done the world is mechanical
None shall ever
Be a slave to thoughts inside their heads



Thanks in advance!

Discography:

Symmetric In Design (2005)


01. Chaosweaver - 3:40
02. 2012: The Demise of the 5th Sun - 3:51
03. Dominion - 3:26
04. Underneath the Surface - 3:50
05. Reborn - 3:58
06. Veil of Illusions - 5:06
07. Obscure Alliance - 3:42
08. Hybrid Cult - 5:00
09. Orchestrate the Infinite - 4:07
10. Detach from the Outcome - 3:25
11. Seeds of Rebellion - 3:12
12. The Eleventh Sphere - 5:19


Pitch Black Progress (2006)


01. The Illusionist – 4:31
02. Slaves to the Subliminal – 5:04
03. Mind Machine – 3:54
04. Pitch Black Progress – 3:26
05. Calculate the Apocalypse – 4:01
06. Dreaming 24/7 – 4:11
07. Abstracted – 3:25
08. The Kaleidoscopic God – 7:09
09. Retaliator – 4:13
10. Oscillation Point – 4:04
11. The Path of Least Resistance – 4:29
12. Carved in Stone (bonus track) – 5:29
13. Deviate from the Form (bonus track) – 5:27


Holographic Universe (2008)


01. Morphogenesis - 3:54
02. Timewave Zero - 5:13
03. Quantumleaper - 4:09
04. Artificial Sun Projection - 4:00
05. The Missing Coordinates - 4:37
06. Ghost Prototype I (Measurement of Thought) - 4:35
07. Fear Catalyst - 5:03
08. Trapezoid - 4:17
09. Prism and Gate - 3:46
10. Holographic Universe - 9:05
11. The Three-Dimensional Shadow - 3:57
12. Ghost Prototype II (Deus Ex Machina) - 6:03
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
A review of the new album, made by Marta:

Scar Symmetry - "Holographic Universe"

Scar Symmetry has been for me the new metal revelation of the last two-three years. Already their debut album "Symmetric in Design" was a fantastic mixture of aggressive death-metal elements, catchy - almost poppy - choruses, melodic guitar solos and slightly progressive passages. The grunts were exchanged fantastically with clean, emotional vocals: all done by the same vocalist, Christian Älvestam.

Nothing new, one might say: this kind of things had been already a trademark of Scar Symmetry's older fellow Swedish metal bands In Flames or Soilwork. Indeed. So what does Scar Symmery have that these two other bands don't have? Maybe nothing extra, but they do combine all these elements in yet still a better way: their melodies are still catchier; their choruses are even poppier; their solos are better built up and are even more melodic; the song structures are smoother; the vocals (well, at least on the studio recordings) are more aggressive, more powerful and more diverse. Furthermore, everything is combined in such a fresh, energetic and intelligent way that it does sound very new and surprising. Plus almost all the compositions have a very high entertainment-value. And one can hear so much enthusiasm in Scar Symmetry's music that it never sounds too repetitive or derivative.

The energy and the enthusiasm is also easily seen in the way this band works. Scar Symmetry is still quite a young act. Yet, "Holographic Universe" is already their third album. Unfortunately, this is also the band's worst release till date. Still, it doesn't mean it is a bad record. "Holographic Universe" is, in fact, a very decent album! Maybe the two previous albums - "Symmetric in Design" and "Pitch Black Progress"- are just too hard to be topped? Anyway, Scar Symmetry are definitely doing their best! The album opens with "Morphogenesis" - an extremely catchy song, which is also one of the strongest tracks on "Holographic Universe." Another highlight is the title track with a very atmospheric and spacy keyboard intro and terribly groovy riffs, almost reminiscent of old Gorefest albums. "Artificial Sun Projection" is also very interesting, with its groovy, slightly Arabic motifs, cool riffs and a nice mix of grunts and clean vocals. "Quantumleaper" has a great melodic bridge, a nice instrumental midpiece and fantastic guitar solos. "Fear Catalyst" is also amongst the best songs from "Holographic Universe" - the contrasts between aggressive parts and calm, more mellow passages are very big here (generally speaking, bigger on the whole album than its predecessors). The chorus reminds me a bit of Arch Enemy.

Actually, every song has something interesting to offer. They are all adorned with great, really beautiful guitar solos (this time mostly performed by Per Nilsson). They all are very melodic and catchy, without losing their aggression. "Holographic Universe" is a very consistent album. Yet, I have the impression that - maybe except for three songs - there's nothing that could grab you as much as e.g. "Deviate From The Form," "Mind Machine," "Veil Of Illusions," "Pitch Black Progress" or "Chaosweaver." The band has delivered again a very solid album, with lots of variety and dynamics. There's again a lot of melody and catchiness, and at the same time the music still has lots of edge. The keyboards and loops underline the apocalyptic lyrics this time even more. However, I think that the band has put the bar too high for themselves with their first releases. The newer songs might be also more difficult to play live, or to be specific: to sing live. As great as he sounds on the studio albums, Christian Älvestam does have sometimes problems with higher vocals live. And the new release contains many of such moments.

But even though Scar Symmetry is definitely more of a studio band, I surely am looking forward to their upcoming live shows. And even though "Holographic Universe" might not be as breathtaking as its predecessors, I'm sure it will still be a frequent guest in my cd-player.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Thanks for bumping this thread, Foro. Just last week I was thinking: "there was some band Foro was raving about that sounded interesting, but now I can't remember who..." - and it was these guys. I shall check them out promptly.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
You're welcome!

I remember I was terribly positive about this band my previous post, and I still am, but I have to admit that I prefer the first two albums. Maybe this new one is a grower, but I agree with the review that it doesn't have as many "grabbing" (catchy) moments as the first two.

Some great solos though, which might appeal to guitarists. ;)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
SCAR SYMMETRY parts ways with vocalist

Dear friends.

A few months ago we decided to part ways with Christian. The reasons are mainly the cliched "business and creative differences" and lack of interpersonal chemistry. We came to a point where the band's existence was in jeopardy because of these differences, and the only way for us to continue with an inspired state of mind was to go through with this change in the line-up.

This should come as a total surprise to most of you, though you might have wondered why no gigs/tours have been announced since the release of "Holographic Universe". The truth is, we have been offered several tours and one-off shows that everyone in the band wanted to do except for Christian. In a situation like that you get a lot of frustration and it was in everyone's best interest to go separate ways.

We started Scar Symmetry just for the fun of it, never with the idea of becoming hugely successful or whatever. Now, three albums into our career, we've toured both Europe and North America, our latest CD made it to Billboard's Top Heatseekers' chart and we've enjoyed success way beyond our expectations. Needless to say, the situation for us as a band has changed since we started playing together in 2004 and the band is bigger than ever. We had the choice to either take a step back with Christian in the band or a step forward without him... We choose to go forward.

There comes a time to let go and move on, and that time is now. Scar Symmetry wishes Christian the best of luck with his future endeavors and salutes the good times we had with him in the band. We will announce the identity of Christian's replacement shortly.



Comments former singer Christian Älvestam:

"Hi all!

After discussions between us in the band, I'm sad to say we've decided to part ways! Mainly for reasons of different outlooks on musical production and touring. Of course it's sad to see that Scar Symmetry will not continue in its present form, but unfortunately these things happen.

I hope Scar Symmetry will go on being successful, while I myself will for sure keep on singing, playing, writing and performing my own music, in various shapes and forms, for a very long time. My musical journey has just begun!

Unfortunate as it is, I'd nevertheless like to thank all the bands I've come to meet and play with during my years in the band; all the organizers we've worked with since the start, Nuclear Blast and all its street-teams for believing and supporting (band-wise and personally); all the magazines, TV- and radio-stations giving us the attention, helping us spreading the name; all the crews that have helped us out during the tours.

Last, but not least, I'd like to thank all the fantastic fans I've come to meet and know while being on the road with the band. All you friends out there who have bought our albums and merchandice, supported us live, partied with us back stage, off stage, on stage, under stage, anywhere and everywhere! All you who have stood by our side through thick and thin! You guys make all the difference! Thank you for a wonderful time!

This is Christian Älvestam signing off!"
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Yesterday I bought the new album Dark Matter Dimensions



01. The Iconoclast
02. The Consciousness Eaters
03. Noumenon And Phenomenon
04. Ascension Chamber
05. Mechanical Soul Cybernetics
06. Nonhuman Era
07. Dark Matter Dimensions
08. Sculpture Void
09. A Paranthesis In Eternity
10. Frequencyshifter
11. Radiant Strain
12. Pariah (limited-edition bonus track)

I heard it only once and like it immediately, and more than the previous one. It's complex, and very heavy. Nilsson's guitar work is topnotch again and the band still manages to come up with good melodies. Their previous singer has been replaced by two(!) others, and most people were afraid the same level couldn't be reached.

Current line-up:

Roberth Karlsson – vocals (lead growl vocals and backing clean vocals)
Lars Palmqvist – vocals (lead clean vocals and backing growl vocals)
Jonas Kjellgren – lead and rhythm guitar
Per Nilsson – lead and rhythm guitar
Kenneth Seil – bass guitar
Henrik Ohlsson – drums

Together with Epica's new record definitely the albums of the year!

Henrik Ohlsson's lyrics remind me of Neil Peart's work. They are original and intelligent. This is what he had to say about his contribution on Dark Matter Dimensions:

"The album title came from the scientific fact that you can't see at least 95% of the universe and despite that fact we behave like we know everything there is to know. We trust our eyes even though they give us a very limited range of perception and we dismiss things because they seem to defy our narrow and cynical sense of logic. The title 'Dark Matter Dimensions' stands for an appreciation and acknowledgement of the unseen worlds and dimensions, because without the existence of these unseen forces our physical universe would never be able to exist. These so-called 'dark matter dimensions', a term I use for everything unseen, orchestrates everything our eyes are allowed to see. And you can bring this down to a personal level as well, from the macrocosmic to the microcosmic, and realize that our appearance stands for a small percentage of who we are. At least 95% of what we are consists of consciousness, thoughts, feelings and other unseen activities. So the term 'dark matter dimensions' applies on both macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. As above, so below. As for the artwork [see below], I view at as a peek into a possible dark matter dimension, a surreal planetary body that defies our sense of what a planet looks like. Spontaneously I come think of it as a symbolic version of the current state of the earth."
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
I LOVE Solution .45, which is the new band the vocalist is in. It's amazing.
Because of that, I've been thinking about Scar Symmetry for a while. I think I have Holographic Universe on my PC somewhere, I should give it a listen.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Foro, did you hear the new album?

I heard one song on Facebook, and didn't like the production and overuse of keyboards, so I wasn't interested in hearing the full album...
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I heard one song they shared and I wasn't much over the moon with it either. Haven't heard the album yet, but I sure should check it, because one song doesn't need to be decisive. :)

Do you have (or have you heard) all previous albums? My favourites are still the first two, though I admit that I didn't play the last one recently. I think it needs more spins to grow.

Yours?
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Holographic Universe is OK, but Dark Matter Dimensions is incredible :shred: Fantastic from start to finish. Haven't heard the first two albums yet.

The only fault of this band (right now) is that the clean vocalist is really, really bad live.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
100% in my top 10 of favourite metal albums of this decade. But taste differs of of course.

Here a taster of the 1st album.
And here two of the 2nd: click and click.

Be sure to get the two special edition bonus tracks of the second album as well, because they belong to the best.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
:oops: I'll try those next week... :innocent:
(6 months later):D

I heard all 5 albums.

Symmetric In Design - Very good album. Production/sound quality is very good, vocals/instruments are very good, though I think that the songs are very similar.
Favorites: Chaosweaver and 2012 - The Demise Of The 5th Sun

Pitch Black Progress - Weaker than the debut. Less catchier too, but production and performance is still very good.
Favorites: The Illusionist and Pitch Black Progress

Holographic Universe - Now this album kicks ass. All the songs are very catchy, but what's more important is that the song structures aren't as predictable as on the previous albums. Vocals are also much better.
Favorites: Morphogenesis, Timewave Zero (especially the amazing part that starts at 2:23), Quantumleaper (great vocal effects) and title track (9 minute long riff fest:shred: )

Dark Matter Dimensions - Still my favorite SS album. Clean vocalist is much weaker compared to Christian (especially live). Harsh vocalist is slightly better than Christian.
Favorite: The Iconoclast, Noumenon & Phenomenon, Sculptor Void and A Parenthesis In Eternity

The Unseen Empire - Big dissapointment. The whole album sounds like a demo - sound quality is very bad. There are only 9 songs (all the other albums have at least 12) and they had to finish the album earlier so they didn't record the title track (!). Best song on the album is Domination Agenda, but even the best song on this album is weaker than the weakest songs from previous 2 albums.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Pitch Black Progress less catchy than the first? Mind Machine and Deviate From the Form are very catchy if you ask me. Hard to beat. When I compare the first two albums I'd say the best songs from the second are better than the best of the first, but it also has more less good songs, so I'd find the first more consistent.
 
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