FRAGMENT - The Misotheist Portrayal (Self released - demo CDR 2012)
Fragment is one of the newer bands, which I’ve found in the extreme metal catacombs. And I must say that I’m quite happy about it, as this British four piece is yet another proof that the UK scene is in the best condition ever since the early 90’s. Fragment is actually a complete newcomer, being formed only in 2009, in Oxford, and having only one demo in their offer at the moment, which is the 2012’s “The Misotheist Portrayal”.
When reading the info sheet, which I got together with “The Misotheist Portrayal” I discovered that Fragment cites for their influences such bands as Napalm Death, Monolith Deathcult, Watain, Gojira and Opeth… Man! They couldn’t pick up more varied bunch of bands, really. They’re all so different to each other than I thought if they’ll combine the styles of each of these bands, then the music will be somehow weird… You know, grinding beats of Napalm Death mixed with black metal violence of Watain and some progressive metal of Opeth? He, that would be like eating roasted pork with strawberry ice cream, and gherkins hehe! First listen of “The Misotheist Portrayal” wipes all my anxieties out, as there’s really no sign of most of the bands, which Fragment mentions in the info sheer, in their music. You know, liking a certain band, even thinking that they’re an influence for you not necessarily must mean that you copy their riffs and style, right? Good then! But what is “The Misotheist Portrayal” like in that case?
The music is actually pretty intriguing and surprising in many parts, it is also quite difficult to label with just one word. Well, to be as simple as it’s possible, I would just call the music from this demo as an extreme metal, but that will not say much to you, right? It definitely does combine the styles of death metal and black, sure, but that doesn’t mean that there’re some Watain riffs… which is fine, if you ask me. “I’ll Watch You Rot” is a song, which has slightly black metal riffing. There definitely is a blackened feeling in this song, although you must know that this track is fully played in mid paced tempo rather than with the Marduk ultra fast pace. In that aspect “Stygian Abyss” is more diverse, not just tempo wise, but also with the riffs, which do vary in styles and manner through these seven minutes a lot. There are, I think, some similarities to such bands as Belphegor, but the result is really fine. And “Two Thousand Years of Pain” offers more progressive parts (but not so progrock as Opeth), in one particular fragment especially (which starts at the fourth minute), when the riffing and arrangements may tend to get close to what Gojira is sometimes doing. Also the opening theme belongs to those more harmonious and blackened parts of the whole demo, so the swaps between the styles are quite noticeable. I must say though that I feel that “Two Thousand Years of Pain” should get slightly more ferocious after a while, as in seven minutes of one dimensional pace it gets slightly boring when close to the end.
So, after listening to “The Misotheist Portrayal” several times, I can say that I’m quite happy with the demo. Fragment plays some solid and good material, they do know how to put some decent songs together and definitely show a potential for the future. If I only could wish something more from it, then I must say that I don’t feel like those sounds really crushed my head completely. The musical rhino, which sometimes destroys my room, when I listen to similar sort of blackened death metal, didn’t show up this time and so I, as well as that room, remain intact. I would expect some more brutality, aggression and energy from Fragment in the future; maybe some faster parts as well. It may be a fault of very clean production really, which could have been more powerful, although it doesn’t mean that the sound is bad or whatever (it just could be more powerful, as I said). We’ll see what will the future hold for Fragment. Definitely “The Misotheist Portrayal” is a good start for them, I liked what I’ve heard, so I’m happy to have this demo in my collection and can definitely recommend it to the underground metal maniacs!
Final rate: 69/100