Scar Symmetry

Dark Matter Dimensions

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There are many death metal bands that like to call themselves melodic when, in fact, melody is merely an afterthought for them; at the end of the day, such bands are much more interested in bombast than they are in melody. But melody has never been a mere afterthought for Scar Symmetry; it's an integral part of what they do. And the combination of melody and forceful aggression that served them so well in the past continues to serve them well on Dark Matter Dimensions. Many of Scar Symmetry's fans were concerned about their future when, in 2008, former lead singer Christian Älvestam announced that he was leaving, but this 2009 release finds the Swedish outfit bouncing back nicely. With Dark Matter Dimensions, Scar Symmetry unveil two new lead singers: Roberth Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist. Älvestam took care of both the extreme and clean lead vocals on the band's pre-2009 recordings, but on Dark Matter Dimensions, Scar Symmetry assign Karlsson the Cookie Monster growling and put Palmqvist in charge of the clean lead vocals. Karlsson and Palmqvist both rise to the occasion on an album that does a fine job of balancing intensity and musicality; as bombastic as parts of this 47-minute CD can be, there is never any doubt that melody, nuance, and intricacy are high priorities for Scar Symmetry. Old-school power metal and progressive metal aren't minor influences on Dark Matter Dimensions -- they are prominent influences -- and it is obvious that these Swedes value craftsmanship as much as they value balls-to-the-wall intensity. This excellent album leaves no doubt that there is life after Älvestam for Scar Symmetry.

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