Friday, December 23, 2016
Dreariness : "Fragments"
Is there hope for depressive black metal? The upcoming AU Champ Des Morts certainly hints this genre could be seeing some life breathed into it. This album came out back in November, the 20th to be exact, so we are not to late to the part on. They open with a dream like elegance similar to classic Alcest and the more venomous elements of this band are not unfurls until half way into the song. Going into the second song the vocals are not as focused but thankfully the guitars dial things back in at the two and a half mark. When I put headphones I finally figured out the vocals were a girl singing. They ebb things back down into a more tender atmosphere that is closer to Deafheaven's zip code on "Essence" which is the first flawless song they deliver. T
he tone darkens into the first thing that really fits the bill as being depressive in my book on " In the Deep of Your Eyes". This feels a little more like an interlude than a fully realized song, though I appreciate the Skinny Puppy vibe haunting it. I'll let it squeak in as a song for the purpose of the review as it does go somewhere and build up. It also gets points for originality. Sadly things are not as inspired for the rather luke warm- yet fittingly morose "Somnium" , it would have worked better if they had found a way to work the interlude that follows this song into it and giving it something to make it stand out from what we have already heard. The album ends with the sixteen minute "Catharsis". From the first strains of fragile guitar I can envision this going into more of an Explosionsinthesky post-rock direction. The black metal doesn't come until we are five and a half minutes in ,but I like what they do when they do chose to kick it by layering the vocals so the clean vocals float over it. They from a stark blasting thrash to a bleeding sonic swell that is some how graceful.
I'll give this album a 9 as it's pretty rucking solid with only one song that doesn't feel like it nails it as hard as they others , but even then it is a positive shade of progress for this genre of metal. I don't really hear them as an Italian band but that is what is going down.