Graveworm - Fragments Of Death review
|Album:||Fragments Of Death|
|Release date:||October 2011|
02. Only Death In Our Wake
03. Absence Of Faith
04. Living Nightmare
05. The World Will Die In Flames
07. See No Future
08. The Prophecy
10. Old Forgotten Song
11. Where Angels Do Not Fly
12. Awake [bonus]
Graveworm's first few albums displayed a band that excelled in combining black metal with gothic melodies and atmosphere. Instead of improving on those strengths - the band started a move towards riff-oriented songs that placed speed and aggression over atmosphere. This kind of mixture lead to the loss of most of the gothic elements with only simple keyboard parts left to remind of the band's past. These new riff-oriented albums weren't necessarily bad, but they did suffer from a lack of dynamics and complexity and they had a general feeling of repetitiveness throughout. In addition, their new direction disappointed a lot of the fans that enjoyed the gothic atmospheres and powerful keyboard/violin melodies. After listening to Fragments of Death, it seems that the band might be attempting to win back the old fans while not rejecting current fans in the process.
The band is trying to achieve this by continuing to make heavy/death/black metal riffs as the foundation for most of the songs, but by also creating enough space for Sabine Mair to deliver her melodies once again. Sabine has always been one of the better black metal keyboard players, virtually every song features a multitude of various melodies from background synths during aggressive parts of the songs to full-blown piano/orchestral sections during slower moments. The most important aspect of her melodies is that she always delivers her sections in a way that complements the music instead of overwhelming it. This tactful delivery of melodies allows for the heavier, more aggressive side of the band to remain the foundation of every song. The stellar vocal performance of Stefan Fiori cannot be forgotten either, Stefan delivers his vocals in two styles - the first is a deep death metal growl and the second is a typical black metal scream, he is also responsible for very poetic, doleful and inspiring lyrics following album's storyline.
Now the album also has some flaws. In the drumming department there is not really much that stands out, it seems pretty much average, at times it even seems repetitive and boring. It also becomes louder than it needs where the keyboards could have been more prominent as they are vital for the mood the album tries to set. The guitar department performance is quite good, it provides both heaviness and melody, but does not really offer anything that really stands out, however this is not really needed due to the other elements in the album being able to cover for this (read: keyboards).
They are an above average band, their musical performance is solid and Fragments of Death follows the same but improved formula as the last few albums possessed. It's Graveworm, without popular covers - this time.
Favourite songs: "Absence of Faith", "Anxiety" and "Old Forgotten Song".
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