Scar Symmetry - _Symmetric in Design_
(Cold Records / Nuclear Blast, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
The incessant Soilwork comparisons are nearly lost on me when it comes to Scar Symmetry. I will grant you, I've never been a fan of Soilwork -- at least not since they left Listenable Records. For my money, Scar Symmetry leaves the recent humdrum undertakings of Soilwork in the discount bin. What _Symmetric in Design_ puts forward is a well-crafted blend of melodic harmonies and harshly aggressive choppiness. Rather than Soilwork, I will admit to tasting some choice In Flames / (newer) Dark Tranquillity morsels on the Scar Symmetry table. Like a down feather comforter, this twelve track release covers the listener under a heavy mantle of gruffly infused edginess.

The album progressively improves consistently from track to track, with the exception of "Obscure Alliance" hiding out near the center of the _Symmetric in Design_'s song list -- the rest of the release fails to top this gem. Intensely groovy with clean and harsh vocals found on the rest of the effort, this song in particular has taken SS's style to an all new level; I defy you to try resisting even the slightest head-bob while the track spins. My guess is you'll have a pit started within seconds. If more of the material on _Symmetric in Design_ integrated this kind of songwriting and musical communication, there would be a spot reserved on my Top 10 of 2005 for this album. As things are, the disc just takes a song or three to reach critical mass.

What's more is this band is full of experience: members list previous participation in Theory in Practice, Altered Aeon, Incapacity and Carnal Forge. Their goal of capturing a pure death metal outfit unfettered by boundaries with synth and brutal guitar riffing has all but been realized. Not perfectly absolute, but talk about a promising future... Symmetric in design or not, this five-piece has constructed the initial step toward a righteous magnum opus.


(article published 22/9/2005)

4/18/2006 J Smit 8 Scar Symmetry - Pitch.Black.Progress
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