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Unfortunate - 46%

GuntherTheUndying, June 2nd, 2011

Scar of the Sun makes the idea of genre-mashing look miniscule. Maybe you've heard bands that fuse folk elements into black metal, or a doom group that openly embraces prog-inspired techniques; both are common examples of mixing two independent sounds, a frequent and expected theme for novice metalheads and veteran headbangers. "A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies" turns the sound-cramming dial past its threshold, somehow churning loads of influences from progressive rock, gothic metal, doom metal, and maybe a smidge of thrash and groove onto the band's platter of atmospheric metal. The faction’s sound is very interesting, but their work ultimately succumbs to a bipolar display of identities vehemently colliding for Scar of the Sun's sloppy spotlight. Things quickly become boring and the flashiness soon fades away, and that is indeed very unfortunate.

I actually thought this band was really attention-grabbing the first time I heard this. Their sound covers a lot of bases, at least to an interesting degree. That really isn't the problem though; it's the poor song writing which quickly collapses the interior of Scar of the Sun's castle. Immediately the band throws the strange essence of "Disposable" at maximum velocity to start the record, its multiple hands yielding groove riffs, prog-like keyboards, pop structures, and occasionally breaking into a fast-paced section that isn't far from thrash. Pretty much everything after "Disposable" continues on a similar front, although the other tracks typically apply a different trait which dominates the song, but the rest sounds somewhat similar overall. Most of the guitar work is pretty uninteresting; usually just the poppy, simple licks typically found throughout basic gothic/doom metal. There's an irregular anomaly as I mentioned, but surprises worth any excitement are few and far between.

Terry Nikas' voice makes the listen somewhat intriguing with his odd register and unique tone, but the record still can't grip the bar, so to speak. Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity contributes growling vocals on "Ode to a Failure," but the band's take on this primary vocal approach still wobbles carelessly and remains in a shell of safe, boring music. The title track is probably the best cut from the album, demonstrating a long, atmospheric blueprint which gives obvious nods to gothic bands like Type O Negative, yet it still finds room for progressive elements, and they surprisingly make it work somewhat well. Can't really say that about "I Lost," the only other track that pushes beyond the seven-minute mark, but predictably succumbs to repetition and tepid song writing.

“A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies” at least has a matchless color to it. Yea, Scar of the Sun can’t juggle their influences to save Valhalla, but these Greeks have cracked something that few have thought of attempting; some credit is due in that regard. However, most of the record breezes by with little force or power, making the monolithic effort feel like an invisible plunge into puzzling depths and awkward ideas. Scar of the Sun’s texture lingers in a cloud of confusion and frustration, limiting the band’s labors to a jejune clump of pedestrian, inept mediocrity, and you’ll regret nothing for not taking a second glance.

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