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Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress - 2006 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. The Illusionist
2. Slaves To The Subliminal
3. Mind Machine
4. Pitch Black Progress
5. Calculate The Apocalypse
6. Dreaming 24/7
7. Abstracted
8. The Kaleidoscopic God
9. Retaliator
10. Oscillation Point
11. The Path Of Least Resistance
I'm not sure what the fascination is with the words "Pitch Black". Callenish Circle just released "Pitch Black Effects". We've seen a Sarnath record entitled "Pitch Black Blues". Now Nuclear Blast has released Scar Symmetry's "Pitch Black Progress". Interesting choice of words. Many of you may have read my review for Scar Symmetry's impressive debut "Symmetric In Design", a dazzling and diverse piece of work that combined the strengths of the death metal genre with the melodic flare of hard rock music. Really an odd combination, possibly recalling the finer elements of Swedish death pioneers Edge Of Sanity, with Christian Alvestam displaying that unique ability to "soar and rumble" that only Dan Swano has pulled off thus far. Alvestam continues to impress with his ability to hit the low register with his deep growls and rumbles while still lighting up AOR channels with a fantastic and superb soulful voice that could fit any TNT record.

Musically the group is just as extraordinary and dynamic, choosing to chug away with no restraint or restrictions on groove stompers like "Calculate The Apocalypse" and "The Kaleidoscopic God", with each of those cuts displaying raw, in your face riffs that bottom out with aggressive appeal while still luring softer fans with melodic chorus parts that could be lifted from an AOR record. That same sort of formula wins me over on the strong opener "The Illusionist", sounding like Edge Of Sanity crossed with modern day Nocturnal Rites. The band is very rigid and harsh on their heavier material, really emphasizing machine-like intensity and precision on "Slaves To The Subliminal" while still soaring with progressive elements and surprises. Guitarists Jonas Kjellgren (also producing) and Per Nilsson are just madmen here, really flowing with a dark aura that illuminates through the chorus bits. The solos here are ridden with effects, each really setting in stone that this band is about experimentation and diversity, a much needed venture that goes against the grain in today's rather cookie-cutter mold.

Bottom Line - "Thinking man's metal" that should appeal to fans ranging from Opeth to Mercenary. Another strong outing that will hopefully get this band the much needed attention it deserves. It is records like this that keep metal burning with new ideas and efforts. Fantastic!



--EC 06.18.06
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SCAR SYMMETRY
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Dark Matter DimensionsScar Symmetry
2009
Hail and Kill4/2/2010
Pitch Black ProgressScar Symmetry
2005
Eric Compton6/23/2006
Symmetric In DesignScar Symmetry
2005
Eric Compton10/4/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SCAR SYMMETRY

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SCAR SYMMETRY
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Jonas KjellgrenScar SymmetryMiguel Blardony4/2/2010


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