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Scar Symmetry: Dark Matter Dimensions

I'd be lying if I said Scar Symmetry weren't one of the best and most capable metal bands around, a metal powerhouse that play death metal that's both melodic and technical. I was however quite shocked with the departure of vocalist Chris Alvestam, as Chris was such a big part of their sound, so this was quite a surprising move as their popularity has been rapidly rising, but it hasn't stopped the band from moving on. So Chris has gone, and as most fans are aware he was in fact replaced by not one but two, yes two vocalists. These chosen replacements must now live up to Chris's legacy and produce those wonderful dark and clean vocals Scar Symmetry is well known for.

After three CDs their last Holographic Universe being my favorite album of 2008, I was both surprised and thrilled to see another release this soon. Which leads us to their new CD with these two new members, lead growler and backing clean vocalist Roberth Karlsson, and Lars Palmqvist lead clean vocalist and backing growls. The title of this new CD is Dark Matter Dimensions, yet another cool title gracing a Scar Symmetry CD.

I don't bother checking out samples of CDs during the lead up, I prefer to experience the whole album, so hearing the full tracks on Dark Matter Dimensions was my first experience of the changes in the band. Let me start by saying Roberth and Lars really are very suitable replacements- no worries here, the clean vocals sound fine and the darker so very powerful, with some differences to before that don't hurt at all.

Dark Matter Dimensions has that familiar Scar Symmetry trademark style, like a pissed off supercharged steamroller as the metal kicks into "The Iconoclast" and Scar Symmetry take off hurtling forward with their intense technical music... would we really want it any other way? "The Consciousness Eaters" is one track where the new guys really show their diverse vocals; just wait till you hear the wicked demonic vocals on "Mechanical Soul Cybernetics". "A Paranthesis In Eternity" has more stirring performances, yet another one of Dark Matter Dimensions killer tracks, and "Radiant Strain" is a wonderful closer with a chorus to match.

If Death metal doesn't usually appeal to your tastes then don't be too hasty in brushing Scar Symmetry aside, as they have a lot to offer fans of other metal genres. The music of Scar Symmetry is like an amalgamation of everything that make metal music so good.

Scar Symmetry has blown me away yet again, Dark Matter Dimensions is quite simply a superb metal album, and could easily end up being my choice for album of the year.

Track list:
1. The Iconoclast
2. The Consciousness Eaters
3. Noumenon And Phenomenon
4. Ascension Chamber
5. Mechanical Soul Cybernetics
6. Nonhuman Era
7. Dark Matter Dimensions
8. Sculpture Void
9. A Paranthesis In Eternity
10. Frequencyshifter
11. Radiant Strain

Added: November 17th 2009
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6693
Language: english

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Scar Symmetry: Dark Matter Dimensions
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-11-17 16:23:03
My Score:

Usually, when a major member of a band leaves, and that group continues on, the ensuing results are often mixed. Not so the case with Scar Symmetry. The metal world was rocked when vocalist extraordinaire Christian Alvestam flew the coop-he of the mighty growl and soaring melodic vocal pipes, and one of the key elements of the Scar Symmetry sound. Well, out goes Alvestam, in comes Roberth Karlsson & Lars Palmqvist...that's right, two vocalists have now been recruited by the band to replace Alvestam, and the results show a band that has not missed a step. In fact, you could say that Dark Matter Dimensions is as good if not better than previous releases. The wonderful mixing of brutal growls, screams, and majestic clean vocals remain, paired with the punishing rhythms, heavy riffs, and blinding solos that we've come to expect from Scar Symmetry. The songs are memorable, the hooks are aplenty, the brutal sections are pummeling, and the arrangements continue to bridge the gap between prog metal, death metal, thrash, and power metal. Not much has changed then, right? Well, pretty much that is the case, and considering how the focal point of the band left over a year ago, it's pretty impressive that they've regrouped and released something of this magnitude.

Hot tracks? Well, there's plenty-just give a listen to blasters such as "Ascension Chamber", "The Iconoclast", or the complex & melodic fare like "The Consciousness Eaters" or the amazing title track for a small sampling of what's on display here. Both new vocalists fit right in here, and if you like the constant mixing of growls & strong clean vocals, this will be a tour-de-force for you.

In short, an amazing record by a Swedish band that has (and has for a few years now) all the tools to be looked at as one of the best metal acts on the planet.

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