Released: 2009, Nuclear Blast
It has only been about a year since the release of HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE, but Scar Symmetry have now released their fourth full-length album, DARK MATTER DIMENSIONS. Vocalist Christian Älvestam is no longer in the picture, but has replaced by two new members: Roberth Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist.
This change primarily impacts their ability to perform live, since now they will be able to handle songs that were never possible by a single vocalist. As it translates to the album version of their new tracks though, it isn't always a positive experience. Neither of the new singers are bad – in fact, they're both quite skilled in their own right – but the new combination lacks some indefinable "something" that only Christian could seem to bring to the table.
From a musical standpoint, not much has changed. Scar Symmetry are still playing a mix of progressive and death metal, which is similar in concept but extremely different in practice to other melodeath bands such as Dark Tranquillity and Amon Amarth. Occasionally the music comes out sounding like something from Kataonia – especially with the forlorn-sounding vocals – but doesn't stray too far to feel out of place. Overall, the formula is still intact, even though some of the ingredients have changed.
DARK MATTER DIMENSIONS doesn't have as many stand-out tracks as some of their previous releases, which is the only other downside to this album. There's nothing wrong with any track individually, but taken as a whole it still just doesn't feel like an important release. Scar Symmetry fans will still want to pick up the album, but this isn't one I would recommend if it's your first.