Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress (Nuclear Blast Records) - Back
That Gothenburg melodic death metal sound seems to get a little scarcer from year to year. This is mainly due to the fact that the bands that were once good, either puss out and become Nu-metal or simply throw away everything that was creative about their ideas in the first place. Scar Symmetry, on the other hand, are clearly very talented and very dynamic in sound. Not to mention, one of the only bright spots left in the aforementioned scale of metal prowess (actually, I just did mention it). OK... the music on their second output, “Pitch Black Progress,” is by far the best result over the lurking vocals. I'll get to them in minute. The excellent guitar work of Jonas, Per & bass player Kenneth, certainly stand high in the ranks with bands like Arch Enemy, Nevermore and even Opeth. There are memorable rhythms in, basically, every track and the solos... well, the solos are the best things I've heard since the last Death album. The drumming on the album is nothing to be sniffed at, but they are more of the standard sound that keep pace next to the way above average guitars. Even the keyboards are appropriately placed, but used mostly as a background atmosphere. They seem to steer clear of the guitars, which is good, but as I said are used sparingly at the forefront in the perfect places. To the vocals. The grunts are fine, the majority of the clean vocals are great, but those 80's wails have to go. It's not that they're terrible, they're just not needed alongside the otherwise awesome Dan Swanö-esque style (the earlier Edge of Sanity / old-Nightingale ones). They have loads of feeling and aggressive in nature, but those annoying power metal add-ons have to go. Matter of fact, those are the sole reason this is not as good as their debut. Everything about that album was fantastic! Aside from my vocal ranting, this album is still worth a listen. Scar Symmetry, only 2 years old, already have bludgeoned the world with their innovating, technical metal style. Let's see what this, ultimately, turns into…

Rating:
81

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell