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Rating:
8.7
Unwritten Pages - Fringe Kitchen
25 May 2012


01. Hejo
02. Asylum Tragedy
03. Intoxicating Sweets
04. Perfect Incentive
05. Cloud Infinite
06. Terminal Defect
07. Kaleidemote
08. Wasted Land
09. Auxiliary Influx


Rating supplement: Interesting, fresh, fun; ideal for people who like their prog metal surprising.

Fact: I love reviewing. More often than not you get average stuff, but you also get to hear the good albums before everyone else. Nothing beats the pleasure of discovering a gem and telling everyone: "This is great, and you heard it from me first." And it is always a joyous occasion when you come across something worth spinning over and over again. Fringe Kitchen is one of those albums for me.

I don't need much foreplay to get into the mood of an album, and therefore I usually exclude introductory tracks from listens of albums I'm already familiar with, but the short atmospheric intro "Hejo" and the subsequent straightforward three-minute-rocker "Asylum Tragedy" are not to be skipped even when you've heard the album a number of times. They tell you exactly what to expect in just over six minutes - strong modern progressive metal with alternative and ambient leanings, interlaced with electronics. And they rock every time I hear them.

"Alternative" and "electronic" are usually two tags I tend to stay away from, but Unwritten Pages bring the goods in a convincing way. The pace rarely slows down (except for the elegiac "Wasted Land", that could have easily been a soundtrack to one of many movies documenting the wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia), the atmosphere is both ever-changing and engaging, and the musicianship is tight. As an Ark fan, I'm chuffed to hear John Macaluso rocking the drums once again. Also worth noting in the "performance"-department (well, not that the other guys aren't, but I can't just flat out tell you everything, right?) is the vocalist (and co-guitarist, co-keyboardist, co-writer… multi-talented dude) Frederic and his unique portrayal of lyrics that mostly deal with "self-imprisonment and the presence of a dreadful inner passenger". While the vocals might not be everyone's cup of tea, I quite enjoyed them.

The album is best enjoyed as a whole entity, but each song has something special to it - the evil riffs in the classical prog metal track "Perfect Incentive", the sudden introduction of a pop element in "Cloud Infinite", or the shouting vocal delivery in "Terminal Defect" come to mind - so you could say this is a "collection of great songs"-type of album with a great flow to it, which is the best of both worlds and justifies my high rating. What's even more exciting is that there is still some space for growth and improvement left. If you're intrigued by any of this, they're on bandcamp.

Plus, one of the song titles is "Intoxicating Sweets". What's not to love about it?


Band profile: Unwritten Pages
Album: Fringe Kitchen


 



Written on 05.06.2012 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



Comments

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BoxCar Willy - 05.06.2012 at 02:55  
Ehhh...

Pass.
Unhealer - 05.06.2012 at 04:51  
I knew you would review this one! It's a very good record.
tea[m]ster - 05.06.2012 at 04:52  
On it.
Nightfall - 05.06.2012 at 05:09  
Seems to be very varied. I need to give it a listen.
theFIST - 05.06.2012 at 05:34  
Written by Milena on 02.02.2012 at 15:06

What's not to love about it?

the sound as well as the review being positive
Melánicol..l - 05.06.2012 at 05:59  
I actually like the music it self, the dude voice doesn't always convince me but it's actually an intersting album to listen.
R'Vannith - 05.06.2012 at 08:02  
Can't say I like Ark much but this sounds like something for me, great review.
Dane Train - 05.06.2012 at 18:55  
I am looking forward to getting this album.
BloodTears - 05.06.2012 at 21:04  
What an amazing cover. This seems right up my alley, I'm on it!
DrM - 06.06.2012 at 10:20  
Mora, with all of your great reviews you've earned yourself a new stalker
Milena - 06.06.2012 at 21:35  
Written by DrM on 06.06.2012 at 10:20

Mora, with all of your great reviews you've earned yourself a new stalker

Oh, gee, thanks! Always nice to hear. You get a virtual beer for the favorite bands listed on your profile as well
qlacs - 09.06.2012 at 00:07  
If J Mac provides half of his talent on the drums it is worth listening to. Will check this soon. Also a "To Check" button would be good cause I already know I'll forget about it..
Maxx666 - 10.06.2012 at 19:39  
I love the cover
PocketMetal - 11.06.2012 at 12:01  
Loving this one , you were right about the "surprise" factor , it's really an interesting release .
Monolithic - 28.09.2012 at 14:57  
It was worth it to give it a try, and I'm not disappointed at all.

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