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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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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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