Tag Archives: Neoclassical Metal

First Fragment’s “Dasein” — A Long-Awaited Album That Does Not Disappoint

 

First Fragment: Dasein (2016)

firstfragment

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Track Listing:

“Le Serment de Tsion”
“Dasein”
“L’Entite”
“Emergence”
“Mordetre Et Denassaince”
“Prelude En Sol Diese Mineur”
“Archetype”
“Gula”
“Voracite (Apothe”ose Partie 1)”
“Psychan (Apotheose Partie 2)”
“Evhron”

Band Members:
Vincent Savary: Bass
David AB : Lead Vocals
Phil Tougas : Lead Guitar & Vocals
Gabriel Brault-Pilon: Guitar
Samuel Santiago: Drums
Troy Fullerton: Session Drums (2014-2015) (Performed all drums on Dasein)
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The highly-anticipated full-length release from First Fragment has at last been released by Unique Leader records.  True to form, Dasein does not disappoint; in fact, the album is a ferocious display of superb songwriting, and utterly insane musical prowess.  With a dramatically improved sound in comparison to the band’s first full-length album and debut EP, First Fragment utilizes a virtually perfect production environment to deliver savage, mind-bending, and technically impressive death metal album.

MetalAteMyBabyy Album Rating:

Vocals: First Fragment frontman David has a powerful mid-level growl that generally complements the music playing behind him.  Some variation–such as the inclusion of highs and guttural lows–would further both the music and the singer’s command of the types of shrieks and rumbling lows present in other technical death metal releases  (7/10)

Lyrics: Though in French, First Fragment’s lyrics illustrate a level of dedication to meaningful and revealing storytelling that position the album as a singular and thought-provoking story  (7/10)

Lead guitar: Intentional or not, Phil’s lead guitar is the star of this album.  Driving, pulsating riffs and remarkably melodic solos demonstrate Phil’s ability to weave brutality with gut-wrenching melodic passages–an element missing in so many technical death metal albums  (10/10)

Rhythm guitar: Often overlooked on monster releases such as Dasein, the rhythm guitar is an integral component of any masterfully composed album.  Gabriel handles rhythm guitar duties flawlessly, providing the bone-crushing backbone of each First Fragment song and harmonizing with Phil’s beautiful leads  (9/10)

Bass: Simply put, the bass guitar brutality of Dasein is precisely how this instrument should be showcased by every technical death metal band.  Vincent deserves significant recognition for both his command of the bass guitar and his ability to utilize the bass perfectly to underscore the chaos that is First Fragment’s third album  (10/10)

Drums: No technical death metal album is capable of achieving the sheer brilliance of an album such as Dasein without a ferociously aggressive drummer.  To be sure, Troy–the band’s session drummer–not only meets the inherent requirements of technical death metal drumming, he obliterates them.  Never overdoing it, Troy serves as conductor of sorts for First Fragment, and his selective use of double bass, his knack for expertly composed fills, and his overall synergy with the band is a pleasure to behold  (9/10)

Technicality: Any commentary would be superfluous  (10/10)

Originality: The one element absent from many otherwise enjoyable technical death metal releases is originality.  The technical prowess is there, to be sure, but little variation exists from track to track.  First Fragment’s latest release obliterates this stereotype, with melodic guitar harmonies leading into extended bass solos, Spanish-inspired guitar segments beautifully slowing the otherwise frenetic pace of the album, and a plethora of other musically diverse elements that set Dasein apart from other technical death metal releases (10/10)

Diversity: See the Originality commentary above (10/10)

Cohesiveness: So many technical death metal albums feature individual tracks that wow the listener–but, unfortunately, the albums as a whole lack a solid, consistent narrative that is present in each and every album track.  Each track on Dasein is brilliant, but, more impressively, each track folds effortlessly into a larger narrative that makes First Fragment’s 2016 release a cohesive, consistent, and ultimately brilliant album (10/10)

Summary:

Dasein is already in the running for the most impressive release of 2016.  Unique Leader Records also deserves credit for making the release of such albums possible.  In a nutshell: buy this album, support the band, and prepare to be blown away by one of the finest technical death metal releases in recent memory.

Total Rating: 92/100

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What I’m Listening To: Week of 05/15-05/21/2016 (Ben)

My list this week became an international edition. A selection of the songs I’m listening to this week, along with accompanying album and genre information:

  • Coffin Lust, Manifestation of Inner Darkness, from the 2016 full-length debut of the same name from yet another solid Aussie Metal band  (death metal)
  • Gyze, Black Bride, the 2015 full-length release by this Japanese trio (neoclassical death metal)
  • Ihsahn, Arktis, the recent 2016 solo release from this Norwegian musician who used to front Emperor (extreme progressive metal)
  • Brendon Small, Brendon Small’s Galaktikon, the 2012 full-length release from the the creator of Dethklok (progressive metal)
  • Vomitory, Blood Rapture, the 2002 full-length album by the Swedish Death Metal virtuosos (death metal)
  • Venom, At War With Satan, the 1984 full-length classic by the UK pioneers of Metal (NWOBHM/black/speed metal)

— Ben

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What I’m Listening To: Week of 05/15-05/21/2016 (Jason)

A selection of the songs I’m listening to this week, along with accompanying album and genre information:

  • Hester Prynne, The Goswell Divorce, the 2011 full-length that remains perhaps the most flawless deathcore record ever produced  (deathcore)
  • Frosttide, Blood Oath, the 2015 melodic Viking album from Finland (melodic death metal / folk-Viking metal)
  • Virial, “Doctrine of Genesis” from the 2016 album Organic Universe (technical death metal) frosttide
  • Orpheus Omega, “I, Architect,” from the 2015 Australian album Partum Vita Mortem (melodic death metal)
  • The Kennedy Veil, “King of Slaves,” from the 2014 album Trinity of Falsehood (technical death metal)
  • Allegaeon, Formshifter, the 2012 American album (technical melodic death metal)
  • Darkest Hour, “Tunguska,” from the melodic legends’ album Deliver Us (melodic death metal)
  • Bloodshot Dawn, S/T, a 2012 release from the British melodic thrash masters (melodic thrash metal)
  • Dark Oath, “Land of Ours,” from When Fire Engulfs the Earth by the melodeath practitioners native to Portugal
  • Crimson Shadows, “Heroes Among Us,” from Napalm Records’ release, Kings Among Men (neoclassical thrash metal)

— Jason

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