SCAR SYMMETRY: The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph

The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph



INTRICATE PROG-DEATH METAL: Nearly a decade since the release of its prequel, 2014’s The Singularity Phase I – Neohumanity, progressive death metal stalwarts Scar Symmetry return to fold with The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph, a brutally artistic, yet mostly expansive take on the band’s prog deathcore sound, one that leans more towards the latter half of that genre fusion. 

One thing to note about The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph is that Scar Symmetry sure as shit doesn’t sound like a band that hasn’t released a full-length in nine years.

Opener “Chrononautilus” is demonic battle cry of explosive proportions, pairing scathing, malicious growls, and blistering riffs with underpinnings of confluent melody. Guitarist and creative mastermind Per Nilsson does his usual brilliant job of providing a stunning bed of mesmerizing fretwork (just navigate over to the track “Reichsfall” for all the proof of this you need) for the dynamic pair of clean vocalist Lars Palmqvist and unclean vocalist Roberth Karlsson. The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph is buoyed in a black ocean of heaviness by “Altergeist” and “Digiphrenia Dawn,” tracks that infuse the band’s penchant for death with black metal wizardry, and while a large swath of the record is such pomp and circumstance, Scar Symmetry does lean into the sprawling black time and time again (“Gridworm,” “A Voyage with Tailed Meteors”). The band saves some of its best work for last, with the closing “Xenotaph,” where all of their brilliant appendages work in tandem to create eight minutes of captivating peaks and valleys, culminating in unexpected electronica. Scar Symmetry tosses so much in the cauldron throughout The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph, all of which seems to work.  

If nothing else, The Singularity Phase II – Xenotaph should leave you scratching your head as to why Scar Symmetry is not more of a household name in the metal scene. At least we have this record to listen to on repeat while the rest of the world catches up. ~ Brian Campbell