Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe


Artist

Album

Holographic Universe

Label

Nuclear Blast Records

Year

2008

For Fans Of

Soilwork – Dark Tranquillity – Disarmonia Mundi

Summary

Move over In Flames, the real deal is here

Rating

83 / 100

Apparently the national dish in Sweden is meatballs.  I have a theory that by consuming said dish induces melodic death metal of epic proportions.  Seriously, the place has punched out bands like Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, In flames (while is obvious the later in flames have been skipping tea time) and the city of Gothenburg is a haven for this sound.  Holographic Universe is no different and is littered with gems.
   
For those unfamiliar with Scar Symmetry, the singer has one of the most amazing vocal ranges your likely to have heard.  The deep nasty vox are comparable to the mighty Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth but can also sing a fancy melody as well. No, this does not mean they are a seedy Metalcore band like Haste the Day, this dude has clearly spent a lot of time perfecting how he sings.   

“Morphogenesis” provides a groovy keyboard intro, which is always a big plus in my books and is followed by the immensely deep and grisly vocals backed with a super sweet and clean chorus.  How the frontman Christian Älvestam pulls this off live, I have no idea, but I would like to think that a Scar Symmetry, Mors Principium Est. tour is in the works (a boy can dream…) “Timewave Zero” is both slightly heavier and slower than the opening track, and this allows Christian to really show off his vocal range again. The solo is mint providing the chocolate sprinkles to an already fantastic chocolate sundae. 
 
Solid rhythm guitar work backed by some sweet riffage is the basis upon which Holographic Universe is built on, and “Ghost Prototype” is an excellent example of this.  It’s also at this point I took the time to have a geez at the track listing and realized that all of the names of the songs on this record are complete and utter tripe, but the musicianship isn’t. 
 
At first the final track “Ghost Prototype II” gives the impression that it’s going to be a serene song with a few solos and some sexy voice time.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised when Scar Symmetry aren’t hopping off the heavy train just yet, and quickly change the pace once again and throw an ace metal curve ball.  The background riff present throughout the song is awesome and these lads clearly have no trouble working their way around the guitar.

Conclusion

Scar symmetry has really hit the nail on the head with their sophomore effort and represents the perfect balance between melody and brutality.  All the songs connect with each other well, but not to the point where it’s by the book.  The only real gripe I had with it is the clean vocals are slightly over done at certain points, but it’s still not painful to the ears and I was amazed at how much this dude can sing.

Tracklisting

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-Dimensional Shadow  
12. Ghost Prototype II (Deus Ex Machina)

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