Tag Archives: Technical Death Metal

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


First Fragment: Dasein (2016)


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Track Listing:

“Le Serment de Tsion”
“Mordetre Et Denassaince”
“Prelude En Sol Diese Mineur”
“Voracite (Apothe”ose Partie 1)”
“Psychan (Apotheose Partie 2)”

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)


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 06/05-06/11/2016 (Jason)

Technical Death Metal Edition (Volume I)

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

  • First Fragment, Dasein, the band’s 2016 release on Unique Leader Records (Quebec, Canada) maxresdefault
  • Hideous Divinity, Obeisance Rising, the Unique Leader Records release from 2012 (Italy)
  • Arkaik, Reflections With Dissonance, the full-length 2010 release from Riverside (California, USA)
  • Spawn of Possession, Cabinet, one of last decade’s most influential technical death metal release (Europe)

— Jason

Remember to like and subscribe to the YouTube members taking the time to post such extraordinary music!  Just as importantly, buy each band’s albums and see them in concert!

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Claiming the Throne: Our Exclusive Interview with Throne of the Beheaded

[Author’s note: Special thanks to Throne of the Beheaded for taking the time to answer our questions, especially considering how busy the band is recording new music and working with their new vocalist.]

MAMB: OK, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got this right–your entire band is 15 years old and younger?! I mean, I remember being blown away hearing Alexi from Children of Bodom and Syn from A7x were in their late teens when their respective bands’ first albums came out, but….15? Were you all always musically gifted? And did you begin lessons at early ages?

Originally were; now Noel and Hector are 15, Adam and Jeremy are 18. We grew up with and were always obsessed with metal. throne

MAMB: What was your inspiration for choosing the band name “Throne of the Beheaded”?

It just happened, like some edgy deathcore miracle.

MAMB: Who woWe stick to deathcore as a label, but we’re basically somewhat-technical melodic deathcore? Due to our use of breakdowns, gang shouts and song structureuld you name as your five biggest musical influences, metal or otherwise?

Shadow of Intent, Angelmaker, As Blood Runs Black, All Shall Perish, and 2006 Bring Me The Horizon.

MAMB: Your Facebook page and YouTube channel classify your music as deathcore. As an independent listener, I heard deathcore influences, along with very melodic and brutal elements as well. With so much debate within the metal scene regarding “proper” sub-genre classification of bands, did you opt to just keep it simple and go with the deathcore label to avoid all the infighting? Or was the sound you originally played traditional deathcore prior to evolving into what we hear on “Severed Ties”?

We stick to deathcore as a label, but we’re basically somewhat-technical melodic deathcore.  (Due to our use of breakdowns, gang shouts and song structure.)

MAMB: Did you self-produce “Severed Ties”? If so, how were you able to secure the necessary funding for such a well-produced release?

We did! And everything was done with Reaper–Seraph samples for drums, Toneforge/Pod Farm for guitar/bass, and Gain Reduction for vocals.

MAMB: You guys hail from San Antonio, Texas. How is the metal scene in that part of the country?

SA’s scene is basically all hardcore. Deathcore isn’t neccesarily dead here (Of Ruins, House By The Ditch) but local bands wise you’ll either always see hardcore, beatdown, punk, or metalcore.

MAMB: You’ve got a new vocalist, Adam. How did you come to know him and decide he was right for the band?

We met at our first show, and have always been friends with him and his old band (A Sunday in Salem). When we needed a vocalist, he said he was down and after doing a few demos, [we] discovered he was a good fit.

MAMB: Noel’s guitar work is stellar throughout the album, with sludgy riffs counterbalanced with melodic leads and galloping rhythms. What is his axe of choice, and what tuning are the songs on “Severed Ties” recorded in?

Sterling by Music Man JP70, and all songs were A#

MAMB: In this age of hyper-technical death metal (think Beneath the Massacre or Rings of Saturn), it’s refreshing to have a rhythm section perfectly paired to the lead guitar and vocals. Hector and Jeremy do an excellent job showing restraint when others would have gratuitously have added over-the-top bass-drum triggers that sound like old-school typewriters. And yet, when the intensity ramps up, they both work beautifully to drive the music aggressively. Do Hector and Jeremy have inspirations for their instruments of choice?

Hector is inspired by Tool and a lot of prog and 2007 deathcore bassists. Jeremy is inspired heavily by jazz and tech.

MAMB: In your opinion, who’s at the top of the mountain right now in terms of metal bands, both talent-wise and in just simply bringing the rage every time they take the stage?

We gotta say, Of Ruins is killing it in the local scene.

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What I’m Listening To: Week of 05/30–06/04/2016 (Ben)

A selection of what I listened to last week, along with accompanying album and genre information:

  • The Dead Goats, “Path of the Goat,” their only full length release so far from 2012, but oh so good (death metal)
  • Blind Guardian, “Beyond the Red Mirror,” the 2015 full length album from the veterans of fantasy power metal (power metal)
  • Steelwing, “Zone of Alienation,” their 2012 full length album that could have come out in the mid-’80s and no one would have been the wiser (heavy metal)
  • Boris, “Akuma no Uta,” the 2005 reissue full length release by this ever-changing Japanese enigma (avant-garde/sludge/drone metal)the_dead_goats_path_album_cover
  • Wretched, “Cannibal,” their 2014 full length album (technical death metal)
  • Darkthrone, “Under a Funeral Moon,” the 1993 full length lo-fi classic. The perfect album for a cold Winter’s night (black metal)
  • Black Tongue, “The Unconquerable Dark,” their 2015 full length album. This one threw me. I thought it was going to be another doom metal throwback and then the death metal vocals kicked in. This one is growing on me (doomcore)
  • Merrow, “Awaken the Stone King,” the 2011 full length album of instrumentals from this talented solo artist (progressive metal)
  • Autopsy, “Severed Survival,” their classic full length release from 1989 (death metal)

— Ben

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Recommended YouTube Subscription List: Updated 05/24/2016

These folks work hard to provide quality extreme metal of all genres available at no cost to fans across the world and definitely deserve a “Subscribe.”

— Jason


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