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A schizophrenic little album - 38%

stefan86, March 30th, 2005

Okay, so here's another one of those Gothenburg acts popping out of Sweden in an unstoppable pace. I checked out Scar Symmetry since I'm supposed to see them in concert shortly. Since Jonas Kjellgren was on the band on guitar I had some hope that they could bring something nice despite being in a shit genre.

Listening to the songs there is no doubt that these guys have a lot of talent musically. The problem is basically that, despite the fact that they don't need to, they encorporate a lot of dumb -core riffing and such into their sound, they do.. When flashes of decency come in form of stuff that sounds like "Chainheart"-era Soilwork (the most tolerable Gothenburg) and suddenly ends with a clean vocal/keyboard "Reroute"-era In Flames break it surely makes you wonder what the fuck this band is after. One second they have an okay rhythm going and the next I'm listening to "Cloud Connected". Just, what the fuck? Decide whether you're going for accessibility or musical amazingness first, write songs after.

The vocalist is actually pretty good though. What we have displayed is real growls, rather than the unguttural hardcore barks these kind of bands usually have. Clean vocals are also pretty good, at least way better than their competitions. The problem is that they don't really blend well into the songs. It feels totally copy and paste and it takes away all coherency. You lose track of where the song is going and it becomes elevator noise rather than something that grabs ones attention.

My initial impression is that these guys are playing something best described as a mix of old tolerable Soilwork and the newer mallcore infused crap. While there is some good riffing incorporated at times, and the solos on the album are pretty damn nice, it still becomes dominated by the shitty parts. The best songs are of course those that have most of the "Chainheart Machine" splashes, "Underneath The Surface" comes to mind. A definite stinker of a riff that's in need to be mentioned is the "Veil of Illusions" intro. That one is total Construcdead. "Detach From The Outcome" is another one suffering from mallcore syndrome.

So, what we have here is quite a mediocre record. It's not as bad as, say "Stabbing The Drama" or "Soundtrack To Your Escape", it's just too Gothenburg and too friendly for it's own good. While there are some very rare flashes of greatness they are just not there often enough to gain my interest.