Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/17/2005
Fragments of Sentience
posted on 1/2006 By:
Synopsis: An artsy and melodic black-ish metal demo from Canada, solid grasp of fundamentals.
I’ve had a lot of work on my plate lately, but if there’s one thing that I tell my boss time and time again, it’s that Canadian black metal always comes first. Fragments of Sentience was kind enough to send us a demo album. 3 songs, 26 minutes in length, and an attractive album cover of the Horsehead Nebula. With the song titles and lyrics being in French, they naturally hail from Quebec. Not being a Francophile, I couldn’t tell you what any of the lyrics are saying, but they are probably rather intellectual.
The first song has some ridiculous title that won’t translate into the MR text I’m sure. (But for the mathematically-inclined, it’s the summation of the square root of infinity equals 7 billion divided by zero. I guess that works out, although the sigma is redundant, as they’re only summing one term. [/nerd] ) Anyway…this is the most enjoyable song on here. The riffing screams tech-metal, but the aura and production are more sinister and bleak, like black metal. Fuzzy distortion coats the guitar, while the drums are overly clean and overpowering when he really wails away. Néath, the vocalist, brings a bestial delivery that toes the line between roaring and shrill screaming. And in a surprising turn, the basswork is not only intricate, but audible! The song is fast with Dissection-like riffing, interrupted briefly by a folky, chanting passage.
“Décrystallisation Psychique” bounces between lounge-y, acoustic parts, and harsher parts that are heavy on the melodies. Halfway through the song, they abruptly burst forth with tortured screaming over scathing guitars and relentless drumming, which “relaxes” into a stretch of double-time riffing. To top it off, they outro with a solo - totally unexpected.
The last track is “Hiatus Néfaste”, a marathon track at over 11 minutes. The extreme length gives them time to expand more, and let the composition develop. Of course, the hazard of long tracks is the listener becoming lost or losing interest. They manage to keep the song mostly compelling, but I find my attention wandering at times. On the whole, the song works, without getting too repetitive.
Hiatus is a promising little demo, full of intense, compelling metal. A little black, a little tech-death, a very little folk, and all-around forceful. The standard rookie miscues are here, such as a questionable sound mix and a few weak transitions, but there’s plenty to enjoy. I hope to be hearing more from these guys in the future.
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