posted on 5/2003 By:
It's great when a band is first finding their sound and there's still tons of emotion in their music. Fragile Hollow is at that point right now, when they're beginning to write great material, just beyond the "crappy garage band" stage. As with many Finnish bands, they're a doom-goth metal band in the vein of Tiamat, Sentenced, Poisonblack, To/Die/For among others. Nothing works as well as a Finnish accent for a clean-vocaled doom metal band. They tend to be on the more goth-rock side, like the newest Sentenced and Tiamat albums, and it works pretty well for them. The singer of Fragile Hollow is pretty good, but there's one thing that kind of annoys me. He likes to randomly hit the high note, which is somewhat odd. It sort of seems like it's out of nowhere, and at first I thought it to be incredibly annoying. But it does sort of set him apart from other goth-rock singers, and if you look at it as sort of his trademark, then you'll be aggravated. The thing, though, is that he tends to wander off key every now and then. Someone should've gone over the vocal tracks to analyze such things. They obviously don't have the money for ultra-expensive production, so there was nobody to go back and fix the vox. Speaking of production, it has a very raw feel to it, something that works for death or thrash metal, but not really for the doomy side. I'd prefer a crystal-clean production for this type of metal. There is some nice keyboard work, though. The fake piano sounds pretty nice, and it's present in just about every song. Without it, there would be much less moodiness to the songs. Of course all the themes of the tracks are horribly depressing with songs about love and failure or both, as is the nature of doom-goth metal. Since I'm a fan of doom-gothrock metal, I rather enjoyed Fragile Hollow's latest effort, "Effete Mind". There's something comforting in knowing that at least some people have it worse off than you, it makes you realize that your life isn't so depressing after all. The songs on "Effete Mind" have a sort of honesty and purity that you only find in a band that's on the upswing. With some better production and a little more practice, I believe that Fragile Hollow could be pretty damn good sometime in the future. For now, however, they still do have that unpolished feel that can leave you wanting more. If you want to hear some raw, true goth metal, check out "Effete Mind". Cry only at the depressing themes, not at the unpolished feel. Wrathchild's Choice Cuts: Come Undone: Very mellow, but nevertheless very powerful I Don't Believe In Love: Catchy chorus, sounds nicely polished
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