Some bands handle adversity well, others not so much. Count Sweden's Scar Symmetry in the former category, as The Unseen Enemy. their second release since the departure of popular & talented singer Christian Älvestam, sees the band once again delivering a stunning progressive & melodic death metal feast that shows no ill effects of losing a key member a few years back. Now on their second album with the band, dual vocalists Roberth "Robban" Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist prove to be a formidable force to be reckoned with, and coupled with the acrobatic guitar work of guitarists Per Nilsson and Jonas Kjellgren, plus the dynamic rhythm team of bassist Kenneth Seil and drummer Henrik Ohlsson, you have a powerful and hungry Scar Symmetry ready to take on the world.
Lyrically, the band are tackling the Illuminati and global domination oriented conspiracies on this one, and the music that is wrapped around these themes is quite engaging. Plenty of wild six string mayhem from Nilsson & Kjellgren abound on The Unseen Enemy, as they are quickly becoming one of the 'must hear' guitar duos in metal. Speaking of duos, Karlsson & Palmqvist really have found their niche on this album, delivering layer upon layer of brutal death metal growls, black metal screams, and melodic power & progressive metal styled clean vocals. There are many highlights where all these elements really shine, such as on "The Anomaly", "Domination Agenda", "Seers of the Eschaton", and "Rise of the Reptilian Regime", but in all honesty, there's a not a weak track to be found here, as each song is an exciting, memorable trip through progressive extreme metal waters that you'll want to sail through over and over again.
Initially I was going to dive into a track by track analysis of The Unseen Enemy, but decided that you the listener really need to experience this one with your own set of ears to really get all the thrilling sounds that Scar Symmetry have put together here for you. This is classy, melodic, and quite progressive extreme metal, and another winner from a band that shows no signs of slowing down. Easily one of 2011's best!
1. The Anomaly
2. Illuminoid Dream Sequence
3. Extinction Mantra
4. Seers of the Eschaton
5. Domination Agenda
7. Rise of the Reptilian Regime
8. The Draconian Arrival
9. Alpha and Omega