“Holographic Universe” by Scar Symmetry

Artist: Scar Symmetry
Title: “Holographic Universe”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 7/8/2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

We sometimes find that by the time a band gets to their third album that they are now just sitting back a little after knowing how they impressed with the debut and then continued their magic to beat the “sophomore curse” as they proved that they could still impress you with little difficulty. Truth be told, the third album is probably the most important as it is a release that will either show you that the group is in this for the long haul or it could be one that proves you no longer have what it takes. Based on this premise it is with great pleasure that I report that Scar Symmetry will once again knock your socks off with their latest and third release on Nuclear Blast Records – “Holographic Universe”. The band seemed to come out of nowhere with “Symmetric In Design” (2005), an album that I missed entirely when it first came out, but when they offered up “Pitch Black Progress” (2006), I found them to be one of the most exciting groups that I had heard in a long time. Perhaps it is because they are Swedish in origin and they come from a land that seems to be overflowing with Melodic Death Metal acts of note, but perhaps it is something different entirely. The one thing that I do know is that lead singer Christian Alvestam gives you more than your moneys worth with his ability to sing perfectly in both Melodic and Death vocals and almost duels with himself vocally and this trait makes Scar Symmetry’s music all the more interesting. As a release, “Holographic Universe” is the perfect next step in the bands progression from their second album which many had lauded as a recording to purchase if one was seeking the best in the genre.

The release finds the band delivering 12 molten tracks that all seem to have a space-age or science fiction premise to them but even after reading along with the lyrics I was unable to determine whether or not this was a concept album of some kind. It’s ok if it isn’t as those things are often hard to wrap one’s head around but the clear point that you get from the moment its opener “Morphogenesis” begins is that this band has returned to kick some ass as opposed to resting on their laurels. There is a lot going on as the album progresses and while I will jump to “Quantumleaper”, I had to say that the guitar work was absolutely insane on this one. The press copy lined out that one player acted as Michael Schenker while the other Yngwie Malmsteen and to be honest they hit the nail right on the head. The pair of axe slinging musicians duels constantly across the release and has defiantly upped the ante on technical ability for the guitarist when it comes to this form of Metal. Kudos to Jonas Kjellgren and Per Nilsson for making this really exciting in terms of the guitar solos. If you are a shred fan then this will satisfy your hunger. I also felt that drummer Henrik Ohlsson was on point for the album. He has not disappointed me yet, but with “Holographic Universe” seems to have come more into his own as a killer player for the genre. I had trouble finding a solitary track to call my favorite since I enjoyed the whole release but when the title track came on I felt a lot of Meshuggah influence being demonstrated in the way of the time signatures and groove. To me it’s a great thing when a band as important as they are is offered homage in an up and coming superpower. Lyrics and photos are presented in the booklet and you will find this to be a well-written work. Add this one to your shopping list with the highest of recommendations.

Track Listing:
1. Morphogenesis
2. Timewave Zero
3. Quantumleaper
4. Artificial Sun Projection
5. The Missing Coordinates
6. Ghost Prototype I – Measurement Of Thought
7. Fear Catalyst
8. Trapezoid
9. Prism And Gate
10. Holographic Universe
11. The Three-Dimesnsional Shadow
12. Ghost Prototype II – Deus Ex Machina

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/scarsymmetry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.