The Singularity Phase II - Xenotaph

Scar Symmetry

SCAR SYMMETRY is one of Sweden's oldest Metal bands. Formed in 2004, the first part […]
Scar Symmetry - The Singularity Phase II - Xenotaph album cover

SCAR SYMMETRY is one of Sweden's oldest Metal bands. Formed in 2004, the first part of this double concept album was released in 2014, and fans have been waiting nine long years for part two. Phase II is called "Xenotaph," and it has eleven songs. "Chrononautilis" is the first song. Out of the gates, it's a thick and deep ended song with a super-aggressive sound. The harmonized backing vocals remind you however that this signature SCAR SYMMETRY. Of course, the lead guitar work is fantastic, and played by a modern guitarist who has probably has the best "feel" in the industry when it comes to leads, Per Nilsson.

"Scorched Quadrant" has some shifty time changes to go along with the ardent backbone of Metal that is enhanced greatly by glorious melodies. Does anyone do this better than this band? That question is rhetorical. "Overworld" has a bright line of melody that flows through it like a beacon through black, stormy skies. The chorus is chocked full of wonderful harmonies as well, over a bed of staunch Death Metal. "Altergiest" has a deep bottom end...the kind that burrows into the earth and seems endless. A harrowing and tense sound is bested only by the big doses of candy in the song. Those leads are dazzling, and I love the addition of keyboards.

"Reichsfall" begins with keys and harmonized leads. When the harsh vocals come in, the two opposing sides are locked in a mortal battle. One side throws a punch, the other a kick, and on and on they go. In the end, I believe the melody won out. "Digiphrenia Dawn" is darker, and dangerous, and there is a weighted groove in the verses, which relaxes during the chorus. Per lights up the song once again with his leads, and he follows the melody so well. Take a close listen to the end of this song...the melodies are so damn bright and memorable. "Hyperborean Plains" chugs forward in the opening with a purpose, and this is an example where the cadence of the harsh vocals just works.

"A Voyage with Tailed Meteors" sounds just like the's a trip though the deepest and darkest recesses of the universe, marked by enormous gas clouds and more colors than the human eye can comprehend. The melodies in the bridge are among the best that I have heard this year. "Soulscanner" feature a scorching passage of leads in the opening, followed by deep guttural, and bright harmonies in the chorus. It's about as concise of a sound that you are going to get out of the band. The title track brings the album to a close, and it's the longest on the album. Talk about a burner...this epic song might be their best. It has so many different elements but comes together in a synergy that is impossible to resist.

The first question is, was nine long years worth the wait? Absolutely. SCAR SYMMETRY continue to cement themselves as one of the best in the genre. The songwriting is intricate, and the guitar work is phenomenal, especially the leads. I wonder, how can an album be so complicated yet so easily accessible at the same time? This question and others lie in wait for those who are ready to dive in and be enticed by its bite, and seduced by its charms.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"The Singularity Phase II - Xenotaph" Track-listing:

1. Chrononautilus
2. Scorched Quadrant
3. Overworld
4. Altergeist
5. Reichsfall
6. Digiphrenia Dawn
7. Hyperborean Plains
8. Gridworm
9. A Voyage with Tailed Meteors
10. Soulscanner
11. Xenotaph

Scar Symmetry Lineup:

Henrik Ohlsson - Drums, Vocals
Per Nilsson - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals, Bass
Lars Palmqvist - Vocals
Roberth Karlsson - Vocals
Ben Ellis - Guitars, Vocals

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