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Catchy as fuck - 77%

BlackMetal213, April 15th, 2016

I'm not a huge fan of Scar Symmetry. It's not that I think they're a bad band or anything, I just really haven't gotten into them through any of their albums. "Pitch Black Progress" is probably the best thing I've heard from this band. This is a solid piece of melodic death metal that, while not amazing or revolutionary, still manages to provide a good listening experience. I've listened to everything from "Symmetric in Design" to "Dark Matter Dimensions", as I have not heard the last two albums. This album is probably my favorite offering of theirs that has reached my ears.

Being their second full-length album, "Pitch Black Progress" was released when Scar Symmetry was still a fairly young band. Sophomore albums can usually either be terrible or absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, this album is neither. It's good, but that's about it. The guitars throughout the album retain an extremely catchy and melodic tone that, really, do get stuck in one's head. My favorite song on this album is "Oscillation Point" and has been for about five years when I first heard this album. The riffs in this song are among some of the most melodic and catchy on the entire album. "Mind Machine" is an absolutely joy to listen to as well, and most of these songs are fairly consistent. This record relies heavily on melodic riffing with huge influences taken from the Gothenburg death metal sound and some nice guitar solos. Every song seems to contain a nicely played solo which should come as no surprise. Musically speaking, I can compare this closely to Soilwork or the lesser known Skyfire, both of which are Swedish bands as well. The songs do tend to blend together too much and do little to differentiate themselves from one another. This is one issue I have with this album.

In terms of vocals, this album makes an extensive use of clean vocals. More so than your average melodic death metal album. Both of the songs I mentioned in my previous paragraph begin with clean vocals and contain extremely melodic choruses. "Dreaming 24/7" and "Abstracted" both carry on this tradition as well. Really, all of these songs contain clean vocals, as well as typical harsh vocals. These clean vocals are always extremely catchy and sound very closely to those found within most power metal bands. While Christian's vocals are really good, both harsh and clean, sometimes his vocal changes seem a bit unwelcome or out of place. This is another issue I have with this album. I can't fault the man on his vocal delivery, as it is superb whether he's screaming, growling, or singing, but it just seems a bit too inconsistent at times. This album really can't be described as a pure melodic death metal album in this regard.

I'm not going to sit here and say this is a bad album because it contains moments of absolute genius and creativity. Scar Symmetry has never been a subpar band. Although this is the best album I've heard out of the four I've listened to, I can say the other three are not far behind at all. This album is still a solid piece of metal and I'd recommend it to any fan of either melodic death metal or power metal, or even traditional heavy metal or progressive metal. I can't see how this could be classified as anything less than above average. Sitting here listening to this album after a few beers is still a good experience.