Scar Symmetry – The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)

Scar Symmetry - The Singularity (Phase I - Neohumanity)

Swedes have a thing for merging death metal with other musical styles. Entombed brought indeed death’n'roll, Edge of Sanity progressive death metal, The Haunted thrashened death metal. And then, more recently, Scar Symmetry got infected by the virus of hybridization with their melodic death metal. Their 2014 album, The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity), released ten years after the band’s creation, is the first volume of a trilogy called Singularity. From a lyrical standpoint, it revolves around transhumanism, a movement that encourages the use and development of technologies to improve human physical and intellectual capacities.

What strikes when listening to The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity) is that the group’s approach to melodic death metal is quite singular. It sounds indeed as if there were a clear separation between crushing passages supported by menacing throaty growls and backing shouts, and upbeat AOR-like sections presenting cheerful clean vocals. Yet at the same time, the crepuscular world and the bright one seem to interlock perfectly, melting each other in the choruses. The super-dynamic and ubiquitous drums, together with guitars in turn aggressive and jubilating, bring the cement to link both worlds. Performed in the band’s early incarnation by the same singer, clean and harsh vocals are since 2008 shared between two vocalists, each very convincing in his range.
Orchestral keyboards all along, narration (Cryonic harvest) and the eerie instrumental interlude Children of the integrated circuit provide the music a cinematic side, and are instrumental for the continuity this work requires to support its general theme. Besides, the futuristic visions of our five lads are further supported by 8-bit winks to video game music (Neohuman, Neuromancers), and occasionally processed vocals (Limits to infinity).

With comparison to Scar Symmetry’s previous records, The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity) seems to be a great leap forward. In fact, on one hand, more dynamic drums and versatile guitars offer very catchy and entertaining moments, while on the other hand the crafty work on both harsh and clean vocals has this time a higher impact on our emotions. This is an album I really like to return to. Let’s hope that the next two volumes will complete the trilogy in as briliant a way.

Read an interview with guitarist Per Nilsson here.

Tracklist:

01. The Shape of Things to Come

02. Neohuman

03. Limits to Infinity

04. Cryonic Harvest

05. The Spiral Timeshift

06. Children of the Integrated Circuit (instrumental)

07. Neuromancers

08. Technocalyptic Cybergeddon

Line-up:

* Lars Palmqvist – lead clean vocals, backing clean vocals

* Roberth Karlsson – lead growl vocals, backing clean vocals (Tracks 2 & 3) [5]

* Per Nilsson – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, lead clean vocals, backing clean vocals

* Kenneth Seil – bass

* Henrik Ohlsson – drums

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