Released By : Nuclear Blast
Genre : Melodic Death Metal
Links : http://www.myspace.com/scarsymmetry
01. The Anomaly
02. Illuminoid Dream Sequence
03. Extinction Mantra
04. Seers of the Eschaton
05. Domination Agenda
07. Rise of the Reptilian Regime
08. The Draconian Arrival
09. Alpha and Omega
THE UNSEEN EMPIRE was one of my most highly anticipated 2011 releases, so much so that I was sure it couldn’t live up to my expectations….damn it’s nice to be wrong once in a while isn’t it? The simple fact is that this album is utterly brilliant in every way and if I really wanted to I could do this review in two words…BUY NOW.
But that would make for some damn boring reading so let me elaborate a bit instead. I have followed SCAR SYMMETRY from the beginning and while I though SYMMETRIC IN DESIGN and PITCH BLACK PROCESS were great albums in their own right, the 2008 release of HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE is where the band really drew me in and that album still stands up as amazing today. Then of course in 2009 the band had dropped the amazing vocalist Christian Älvestam and instead opted for a two-pronged dual lead vocals approach for the DARK MATTER DIMENSIONS album. While I did really like it I sort of felt that the band had lost their way a little and I worried that the loss of Alvestam may have been enough to finish them off. The out of nowhere comes news that the band is working on a new album for 2011 release and the early word was they were more focused than ever and the early previews and snippets that leaked across the web all showed promise.
But none of the hearsay or label hype could have prepared me for how much I would enjoy this album, and after twenty-five or so listens I am willing to on record and say that this SCAR SYMMETRY’S finest work yet and a true high point for metal in general. Yes it’s easier in this modern age of endless genre descriptions to label these guys as melodeath, and sure they do have more melody than most metal bands could ever wish to have, but I prefer to look at this album simply as just good old METAL. While it does sound fresh and lush, really there’s not a lot here that wasn’t being done by guys like MACHINE HEAD, SOILWORK and FEAR FACTORY in the late nineties. In an age filled with stuff like metalcore, dubstep, djent and whatever the hell else all the kiddy-winks are calling it these days, SCAR SYMMETRY show that metal music doesn’t necessarily need to evolve to remain relevant, it just needs to be done well. Seriously I cannot see a reason why fans from all corners of the blanket metal sub-genres couldn’t all find something to like here, there’s plenty of aggression, a massive amount of melody, some small electronica and industrial elements and some of the most sensible songwriting by a metal band in years.
I won’t go into a track-by-track synopsis here, what I do want to mention however is the album’s second song ILLUMINOID DREAM SEQUENCE which really does offer up a bit of everything and is easily one of the best songs of 2011 across all genres, FEAR FACTORY meets progressive metal mixed with nineties American metal and some modern deathcore, how could you not like it?
If they weren’t already, THE UNSEEN EMPIRE has ensured that SCAR SYMMETRY has become one of my all-time favorite bands and I’m sure I’ll cherish this album for years to come. It’s good to know that there are still some bands out there that just want to play pure metal and not try to follow the latest tired trends.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 10/10