Reviews : Albums : Scar Symmetry, "Pitch | Black | Progress"

Scar Symmetry, "Pitch | Black | Progress"

Scar Symmetry were bold on their debut Symmetric in Design. With an all star cast, the wish to truly succeed in making melodic death metal sound progressive, and Christian Alvestam’s ability to actually sing for the clean sections of the songs, the album was quite the surprising success. On the band’s sophomore effort, Pitch Black Progress (strangely similar to Vreid’s Pitch Black Brigade and Callenish Circle’s Pitch Black Effects, also released this year), Scar Symmetry continue to refine the attack they showed on their debut. Many of the tracks push the dynamism, and a number rely even more heavily on Mr. Alvestam’s sung vocals.

Though this sounds like a good idea, the disc ends up seeming as if it were a bit patchier than the band’s first effort. Though Scar Symmetry’s best songs to date appear on Pitch Black Progress, the trade off is that they stand alongside a surprising amount of weaker material.

The remarkably heavy rollercoaster of “Calculate the Apocalypse” is shadowed by the almost sappy “Dreaming 24/7.” Similarly, the lackluster opener, “The Illusionist,” blocks the path for the stronger “Slaves to the Subliminal” and the smooth as silk “Mind Machine.” Though the overall ratio is better than 2 good songs for every bad on the album, Pitch Black Progress doesn’t have the consistency and balance of Symmetric in Design. So, though it’s quite good in total, it’s harder to appreciate just by listening to it from start to end.

Standout Tracks

   Calculate the Apocalypse
   Kaleidoscopic God
   The Path of Least Resistance

Peter Johnston