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Pursuing the End - "Symmetry of Scorn" (CD)

Pursuing the End - "Symmetry of Scorn" CD cover image

"Symmetry of Scorn" track listing:

1. The Last Truth
2. Something Remains
3. Cage Of Hypocrisy
4. From The Ashes
5. In Vain
6. Mercyful Vengeance
7. Human Revulsion
8. Out Of Control
9. Symmetry Of Scorn
10. Changes

Reviewed by on September 18, 2013

"A band that flirts with non-metal elements, but just can’t commit to a steady relationship with the mainstream world, Pursuing the End is a melodic/technical death metal act masquerading as a gothic one."

A band that flirts with non-metal elements, but just can’t commit to a steady relationship with the mainstream world, Pursuing the End is a melodic/technical death metal act masquerading as a gothic one. “Symmetry of Scorn” is Pursuing the End’s debut full-length, seeing official release via Bakerteam Records, which is a lesser-known label that has a pretty solid roster of bands covering the entire spectrum of metal genres. While the opening of the album will shock many listeners, overall “Symmetry of Scorn” is an enjoyable mash-up of death metal with both harsh vocals and clean female singing.

It’s not inconceivable that someone could think they put in the wrong CD for the first 45 seconds of “The Last Truth,” as full-on dance club pop music starts off the disc. Just as the shock starts to wear off, Pursuing the End shifts gears straight into heavy riffs and growls. The album is much more punishing and extreme than that starting segment lets on, with the dancy techno stuff really only showing up in force again on “In Vain.”

“Something Remains,” “Cage of Hypocrisy,” and “From The Ashes” keep up a non-stop assault where the specific genre tag is a bit up in the air. It’s death metal that can’t decide whether to be tech or melodic. There’s definitely a thrash influence in there, and the female vocals add another element that will bring to mind Sirenia, Nightwish, etc. The guitars are pretty consistently brutal, maintaining that heaviness the extreme metal crowd needs, although the shredding is too similar across the first several tracks and it does get repetitive while listening all the way through.

The pop and dance focused material is fairly limited and far between, making the album much more appealing to metal purists and fans of tech death obviously, but at the same time, it’s kind of an odd choice. In for a penny, in for a pound – why not jump in with both feet instead of just dipping a toe? Stylistic integrity aside, “Symmetry of Scorn” is still a full album worth checking out that’s practically bursting at the seams with sounds both furious and soothing constantly assaulting the listener at maximum force.

Highs: Nice balance of tech and melodic death metal with fantastic female vocals.

Lows: The smattering of pop/dance stuff will turn off the purists, and the limited usage might also mean it doesn't work as well for the experimental crowd that wanted to hear more of a mixing of the two opposing sides.

Bottom line: Pursuing The End offers up a punishing mix of melodic and technical death metal, and then throws in some poppy dance sounds just to scare the hell out of the purists.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)