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'Fragile Immortality'
(Napalm Records)
Release Date: 31st January 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

the unguided

The world of melodic Death Metal is an interesting one. Who would have thought that in an area of the Universe of Metal, you'd find an injection of melody within the maelstrom of angst-ridden expression?

Well, within the main duo at the centre of this creative unit we can find just such minded exponents. Formerly members of a band called Sonic Syndicate, the brothers Richard and Roger Sjunnesson have materialised to reap melodic and brutal havoc upon those who will give them the time! Strap on your safety belts.

Juggling and pacing their unique approaches to the vocal delivery, both Roland Johansson and Richard Sjunnesson exchange responsibilities as one growls and spits, releasing his internal organs over the listener, whilst the other adds more conventional singing to new heights in contrast.

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It's an interesting juxtaposition to be caught between, but that's what awaits the listener during this collection of eleven tracks.

'Fragile Immortality' is the second studio opus from this band of youthful misfits in what is planned and expected to be a trilogy.

Trance style keys get the ball rolling on 'Fragile Immortality' but only for the briefest moment as 'Inception' rips off the fake flesh of contemporary light-weight Rock music, and reveals the gruesome truth beneath the surface. The verses are loaded with throat-shredding rasping and vile until the chorus kicks in with a more traditional and melodic vocal delivery.

'Heartwork' by Carcass is one of my favourite albums due to its technique of wrapping death Metal tendencies around subtle melodies, but have no disillusions, this album isn't like that.

With a few discrepancies, 'Defector DCXVI' despite being a little more brutal follows the formula as its predecessor with 'Granted' adding some tasty lead guitar on top of the familiar keys and riffs. This third track starts out with cleaned up vocals before bringing in the throat-ripping approach.

By track four; 'Eye Of The Thyla' starts out with that melodic vocal threading itself through the trance-like keys before infecting the process with the Death Metal element. This pattern weaves in and out.

I think it was around this point of listening to this album that I began to question whether this whole approach worked or not. It's a novel idea trying to merge moments of death Metal with moments that belong in trance/dance music, or something that may threaten to break in to the mainstream singles charts. Where it seems to work best are on examples like 'Blodbad', 'Inception' and 'Granted' plus for my ears the track 'Only Human'.

I was trying to describe to a friend what I was reviewing when they made enquiries about this and that. I used the analogy that the music resembled some sort of sweet tasting milkshake that was being mixed with mashed-up burgers! If that sounds like your sort of thing and you're feeling suitably angry at the world and its friends, then check this out. You can find parts to sing along with or hum as the melodies can be hook-laden, but yet you receive equal measures of pure Death Metal at specific sections with both styles colliding and merging in an unconventional synchronicity on other occasions.

Fans of their previous outfit Sonic Syndicate will hear familiar territories, but they're attempting to steer away from their previous 'We Rule The Night' album. 'Fragile Immortality' is the binding of the modern with the past and finding new ground in the process.

Defector DCXVI
Eye Of The Thyla
Unguided Entity
Carnal Genesis
Only Human

ROLAND JOHANSSON - Vocals & Guitar

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