(Andy Synn joins us again today with his review of the The Unseen Empire, the new album from Sweden’s Scar Symmetry. The Unseen Empire was released on April 15 in Europe and will be released on May 17 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records — that’s the North American jewel-case cover art above.)
I have to admit right now that Dark Matter Dimensions was my favourite of SS’s releases thus far. Although the two new vocalists were not fully integrated together, I felt that the musicianship and song-writing on their last album was nothing short of stellar. Too often the band was referred to merely as an afterthought to the impressive vocals of Christian Alvestam, yet on this latest record the new vocalists have made huge, leaping bounds of progression, matching the capabilities of the musicians and material surrounding them as never before.
Comparing their performance with that of their predecessor is now a pleasure, rather than an unfortunate chore, as the harsh vocals are now more varied and aggressive, lower, harsher, higher, more emotionally convincing, while the clean vocals have also pushed themselves to greater heights, smooth yet unexpected melodies matched by digressions into piercing falsetto and powerful, intensely emotive singing. The new blood and new-found variety allows the band to explore vocal arrangements and melodies which would never have been possible or thought of with their previous vocalist. (more after the jump . . .)