10

Turn the vocals up!

Surprisingly low on the bill, Sweden's Scar Symmetry appeared just after lunch on the Friday. But this could be my own perceptions because I'm a Scar Symmetry fan yet have never heard of Memfis who appeared at 3:20pm. I really must get out of the habit of assuming that if I've heard of a band it doesn't necessarily make them well known.

A sound mixers cardinal sin was subjected onto Scar Symmetry as vocalist Christian lvestam was insultingly low in the mix. Even after a cry of "turn the vocals up" the problem took half the set the fix (surely it's just pushing a fader up and down isn't it?). Because of this Scar Symmetry were up against it from the off, however they'd drawn a decent crowd perhaps due to their excellent latest album 'Pitch Black Progress'. But deep down I think it was because of the song/video 'The Illusionist' and it's regular TV play.

Scar Symmetry are more than mere 'one song merchants' and they took the other 35 minutes of their 40 minute set to prove it. 'Slaves to the Subliminal' and 'Mind Machine' are great songs that show off their melodic and brutal sides. Christian's vocals were something to behold as he switched from clean vocal to brutal growls with ease. But it was the fret wizardry of Per Nilsson that really caught the eye. His fingers managed to perform solos that other guitar players could only dream about and yet he did it with out posing or posturing. It is because of this straight forward metal attitude that makes Scar Symmetry a great band and able to turn out a good performance amidst the technical issues on the day.