Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe review
|Release date:||June 2008|
02. Timewave Zero
04. Artificial Sun Projection
05. The Missing Coordinates
06. Ghost Prototype I - Measurement Of Thought
07. Fear Catalyst
09. Prism And Gate
10. Holographic Universe
11. The Three-Dimensional Shadow
12. Ghost Prototype II - Deus Ex Machina
Theme-wise, Holographic Universe is a continuation of Scar Symmetry's exploration of 'time and space' and which also turns out to be vocal extraordinaire, Christian Älvestam's swansong with the band.
At face value the album sleeve compliments the title of the album well, the music and lyrics are very well integrated within the entire concept of the album and in turn beautifully incorporated within the artwork.
The 'electronic' sounding keyboard at the beginning of album opener, "Morphogenesis" definitely ties in with the 80's 'Synth/Electronic-era' and gives Scar Symmetry's music that breath of fresh air. The precise playing of the instruments provides a machine-like/ constructed sound, yet it's freed up by flowing guitar melodies and Älvestam's voice which becomes the beating heart of this 'mechanized' vessel.
Throughout the album the keyboard is used well as an extra layer and creates a fuller, more atmospheric dimension which is typical of Scar Symmetry. As usual the production of the album is massive, top-notch musicianship and more mature song writing experience this time around. Experimentation is kept to a minimum, however the touches of progression are done in a very professional and considered manner.
In general the album flows well together with the odd recycled song thrown in the mix (for example, "Quantumleaper") it does not however deter from the overall feel of the album since these moments are few and soon replaced by interesting and fresh elements (for example the intro of "Artificial Sun Projector" and soaring choruses such as "Prism And Gate"). The fragmented way in which the title track has been dissected results in an entertaining listen with surprising elements keeping you hooked. It serves as a coherent whole and free-flowing experience. Overall the machine-like rhythmic precision continues smoothly until the listener receives a 'wake-up call' with "Three-dimensional Shadow's" factory-like 'hole-punching' opening riff. Guitar solos blend well within the songs and form a perfect bridging element between passages.
Älvestam's years of experimenting with and refining his voice proves to be successful as the contrast between the clean/heavy vocals are perfectly balanced. They compliment each other and can be considered as his best performance to date. Holographic Universe is not easily digested in one listen and I would urge the listener to invest a good amount of time in discovering the deeper aspects of each song individually (revealing 'hidden' elements not picked up by merely skimming through them).
After the success of the first two albums, Holographic Universe cements the band's reputation as an undeniable entity within their respective genre.
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