After seeing Scar Symmetry play live in Belfast last year and picking up their last full length album ‘The Unseen Empire’, I was looking forward to getting my hands on their new album ‘The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)’. Even better was the news that it is set to be the first in a trilogy of releases from the talented Swedish 5 Piece.
From the very opening lines of ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ you are fully aware that this is a project as ambitious in its sheer scope as it is in the complexities of the song arrangement.
Although listed as a separate track it is really only the introduction to ‘Neohuman‘ which gets things moving in what is a real headbanging stomp along salvo of a song, and like most songs on this album it has healthy mix of brutally heavy guitar work, mixed with a smidgen of electronic accompaniment, lashings of throaty growling vocals and enough soaring choruses to make you think that you’ve taken a DeLorean back to the 80’s and resurrected the spirit of early Van Halen.
Another trait throughout the album is Per Nilsson’s guitar work as it soars and grinds as necessary. His soloing is reminiscent of Vai in his ‘Passion and Warfare’ days, but the rhythm parts chug along with a certain authority and are complimented perfectly by the Kenneth Seil’s driving bass lines and the ferocity of Henrik Ohlsson’s drums.
Ohlsson’s futuristic ambition inspired the whole lyrical concept of the album, which is no mean feat. It tells the story of a not too distant future where humans and machines become one in the next stage of evolution, and I am sure these are themes that the band will continue to explore in the next two installments.
With ‘The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)’ , Scar Symmetry have taken their biggest inspirations, stuck them in the blender and come up with a hugely ambitious series of albums. As a stand alone record this is a well structured set of songs that are perhaps original enough to make it stand head and shoulders above the hoards of forgettable bands afraid to try something new. This is music delivered by expert craftsmen, each band member on top form, combining to give listeners a real audible treat; and if this is just the first album, it has set the bar high and I can’t wait to hear what is to follow.
1. The Shape Of Things To Come
3. Limits to Infinity
4. Cryonic Harvest
5. The Spiral Timeshift
6. Children of the Integrated Circuit
8. Tehnocalyptic Cybergeddon
Per Nilsson – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Henrik Ohlsson – Drums
Kenneth Seil – Bass
Roberth Karlsson – Lead Vocals (harsh)
Lars Palmqvist – Lead Vocals (clean)