Fragments Of Unbecoming

The Everhaunting Past: Chapter IV - A Splendid Retrospection

Written by: PP on 12/01/2010 19:56:09

Last I heard of Fragments of Unbecoming was over three and a half years ago when they released their decent but somewhat unambitious sophomore album "Sterling Black Icon / Chapter III - Black But Shining" (the EP was chapter I, in case you are wondering), which essentially took Gothenburg-styled melodeath and expanded it slightly with a German death metal sound. The riffs were mostly good, but it was the drumming that I considered to be near-phenomenal on the record. On album three, "The Everhaunting Past: Chapter IV - A Splendid Retrospection", the innovative drumming continues to be the highlight, but not without the rest of the unit showing significant steps of improvement since the last outing, not just in technical ability, but also in terms of composition skills. The riffs are at least couple of levels above what I remember from the past - this time around they actually stick to your memory effortlessly.

The band's overall sound remains constant, however, with serpentine death metal riffs destroying their way through the soundscape, transversing into Gothenburg-styled melodeath passages often enough to give the album a good sense of melody throughout. There's one interesting development, however, that being the band's newfound intrigue of the black metal scene. Every now and then the melodic guitars step aside from At The Gates worship and enter high speed tremolo shredding mode, which is at its most effective when vocalist Sam Anetzberger shuts up for a moment. It's not that his growl isn't good, because it's actually quite enjoyable, but I find that whenever the band is allowed to shift into the atmospheric black metal mindset, the soundscape is given much more room to breathe and work its magic. The benefit of that is the great transitioning and contrast once Sam's monstrous growl finally arrives and the song returns to melodeath territory. More of these, and "A Splendid Retrospection" could be one hell of an album.

Judging the album as a whole, it must be said that the death/melodeath/black fusion is successful throughout, though it's not necessarily super original or anything you wouldn't have heard elsewhere before. Some of the highlights include "Vast", "It's Me, The Grotesque", "Deadlight" and "Destination: Outcast", although strangely I have to nominate the all-instrumental melodeath-meets-black metal piece "One Last Border Yet To Cross (Epilogue)" as my favorite on the record. Something about that song just clicks more than the rest of the album. Regardless, Fragments Of Unbecoming are well on their way of becoming a notable act in the genre, if their improvement curve follows the same trajectory as between this record and the one before. Do check this out, if you like your melodeath with a little more raw, perhaps even industrial punch than In Flames; in other words, if you're an At The Gates fan.


Download: Vast, Deadlight
For the fans of: At The Gates, In Flames, Dismember
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.10.2009
Cyclone Empire

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