|Review: Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: May 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 3.85/5 (76.92%) (13 Votes)
A personal highlight of 2008 for me, Holographic Universe is where we see Scar Symmetry finally align all the pieces of the puzzle, delivering their first truly stunning album. Unfortunately their final album with the superlative Christian Ãlvestam, which is a damn travesty - this guy delivers in every way possible, be it his incredible clean vocals with masterful range, or his death-style vocals that range from crushingly deep to a more common style of roaring. Boasting superior production, this is a treat for the ears; an excellent sounding drum-kit, punishing guitar tone and fantastic use of keys is what's on offer. Fusing together a Melodic Death and Progressive Metal these guys do what acts such as Into Eternity have been striving to create their entire careers.
"Morphogenesis" kicks off the festivities, with a damn cool chorus and a blinding guitar solo – it's amazing how much the musicianship has improved since the previous release Pitch Black Progress. Holographic Universe is equally both heavy and melodic - without ever teetering over into puke-inducing metalcore - something most bands of Scar Symmetry's ilk tend to do. There's something here for everyone really, be it the moody "Timewave Zero" again featuring a stunning chorus and the almost Power Metal-like intro to "Ghost Prototype I (Measurement of Thought)," a track where Christian Ãlvestam proves his worth as a clean vocalist. A personal favorite of mine "Quantumleaper" has a belting keyboard-driven theme transcending into a pumping verse, the structure of this song is pretty cool. The triple attack of "Trapezoid" "Prism and Gate" and the sublime title track is damn unforgiving showing a band really on top of their game. "Prism and Gate" is a pretty wild song displaying a bizarre yet cool chorus.
Overall Holographic Universe is a quality album that's hard to fault, carving a niche of their own in the increasingly stale Melodic Death Metal genre – virtuoso musicianship, pummeling riffage and hooks to spare is the name of the game. After losing Christian Ãlvestam, these guys had to replace him with two singers; he was just that good. It will be interesting to see where Scar Symmetry go with their next release, however if this album is anything to go by we could be looking at something special again. Highly recommended to fans of Melodic Death and Progressive Metal.
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