Fragments of Unbecoming – Sterling Black Icon (CD)

While Fragments of Unbecoming have a distinctly sedate style, this is quickly matched by a powerful metal side that will get individuals rocking as hard as they were listening to the previous section of the act. The band a tremendous album to top in “Skywards: A Sylphe’s Ascenion”, but I can say that this album matches the previous album blow by blow, and in some case even surpasses the work of the previous album.

What really distinguishes the two albums is the fact that Fragments of Unbecoming has made the transitions between the different styles of metal that they embrace even smoother than on any previous album. The band has not lost a step in the few years since “Skywards” was release, but have refined their sound to an art. For example, during the title track of “Sterling Black Icon”, the song starts up in a sedate way before entering into a double-bass drum lead attack that mixes equal parts Cannibal Corpse and Blind Guardian. The band has more than enough material during each of the songs on “Sterling Black Icon”, because of their ability to rapidly change styles and sets of influences in-track. Sure, if Fragments of Unbecoming just rode a specific riff for five or so minutes, the results would not be that impressive but this is not what happens on “Sterling Black Icon” at all.

The tangled mess of styles is what is so damn great about this album, as individuals can see the influences morph together to give Fragments of Unbecoming completely different outcomes with each song. One can see a macro and a micro level of narrative story telling in this album, in which the whole album can tell a story but so can the constituent tracks taken separately. Being able to decipher the lyrics on “Sterling Black Icon” is another step forward for Fragments of Unbecoming, as individuals can actually understand the band in a dimension that simply is not one that bands take into consideration when putting a disc together. With compelling music and vocals on each of the tracks on “Sterling Black Icon”, Fragments of Unbecoming have an album that shines above the massive pile of metal album discs that any magazine gets nowadays. Here’s to hoping that Sascha and the rest of the kids from Fragments of Unbecoming can continue on this meteoric course, as they have honed their skills immensely from the Skywards album and can go further with that.

Top Tracks: Sterling Black Icon, Weave Their Barren Path

Rating: 6.4/10

Fragments of Unbecoming – Sterling Black Icon / 2006 Metal Blade / 12 Tracks / / / Reviewed 24 April 2006


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