Scar Symmetry
The Unseen Empire
Style: Melodic Death Metal
Release date: 15 April, 2011
Playing time: 43:05

This band is one of my favourites since their first release, 'Symmetric in Design' back in 2005. Every album they have recorded since has been good and the band has developed their unique style with every album. After the 'Holographic Universe' album the departure of frontman Christian Älvestam came as a shock and many (me too) didn't expect such a loss could be solved. But with Roberth "Robban" Karlsson (mostly the aggressive parts) & Lars Palmqvist (clean parts) they recruited 2 new members that filled the gap.

On 'Dark Matter Dimensions', their 2009 album they showed that they were as strong as on their earlier albums. I saw the band live on the Neckbreakers Ball tour 2009 together with Devildriver and Arsis and they were very good and especially the combination of the 2 vocalists was impressive to watch. 'The Unseen Empire' continues where the last one stopped and they have even written songs with more melody than ever before. Especially the first track is very melodic and perhaps one of the softest songs in their repertoire, but it is still very metal. After that they open all registers and play the style they are the best at; combining melody with ultra heavy parts, changing easily from clean singing into grunting and harsh vocals. The contradiction between the nice clean singing, melodic parts and the heavy parts has never been more impressive.

The heavy guitar parts, the beautiful vocal parts and the unparalleled guitar solos we are used from Scar Symmetry are all there again. Sometimes the band even sounds proggy and in the last track there even is a doomy part. Off course you can say that they at times musically sound like Soilwork, but that would be undervaluing this band. They are much heavier and although this is the most melodic and accessible album to date, it is heavier in the heavy parts and more melodic in the cleaner parts - it is perfectly balanced from start to finish. Metalheads who like their earlier work and fans of Soilwork and Mercenary etc. must admit that this style can't be played much better than what you hear on this album.

An album that might end up on my best of the year list. Stronger than ever!

Tip: the amazing track 'Alpha and Omega'.


01. The Anomaly
02. Illuminoid Dream Sequence
03. Extinction Mantra
04. Seers of the Schaton
05. Domination Agenda
06. Astronomicon
07. Rise of the Reptilian Regime
08. The Draconian Arrival
09. Alpha and Omega

Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 11 April, 2011