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Fragments of Unbecoming: Sterling Black Icon

Germany's Fragments of Unbecoming unleash Sterling Black Icon, their sequel to 2004's A Sylphe's Ascension. Here, the band continues on with their Swedish styled melodic death metal sound, incorporating a variety of lead and backing vocal styles, punishing guitar riffs and melodic harmony leads, bulldozing rhythms, as well as majestic acoustic guitar bits and atmospheric moments. Some of the songs approach mini-epic territory, which allows the band to create some mood and throw in some tempo and time changes, like on "Dear Floating Water" and "Breathe in the Black to See", giving the songs an almost Opeth feel. Other songs have that speedy Gothenburg style of melodic death metal, like the galloping "A Faint Illumination", complete with catchy vocal hooks and some tasty guitar harmonies, which instantly brought to mind Nightrage, In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and Soilwork. Production wise, it's a great sounding CD, with crunchy guitars and well-mixed vocals, perfectly in balance with the bass and drums, giving a nice rich and full sound, really evident on the excellent "Live For the Moment, Stay to the End", a real fine metal song that works on all levels. Lead singer Sam Anetzberger, who was finally convinced to leave Legacy to join Fragments of Unbecoming full-time for this record, has a fine voice for this style of music, as he alternates with guitarist Stefan Welmar for a very effective dual lead vocal attack of varying growls, grunts and shouts. Overall Sterling Black Icon is a solid slice of melodic death metal, and in a genre that's been totally saturated the last few years it's nice to hear something that stands out from the rest of the pack a little.

Track Listing
1) Carmine Preface (Entrance)
2) Sterling Black Icon
3) Weave Their Barren Path
4) Dear Floating Water
5) Breathe in the Black to See
6) Ride For a Fall
7) A Faint Illumination
8) Live For the Moment, Stay to the End
9) Scythe of Scarecrow
10) Onward to the Finger of God
11) Stand the Tempest
12) Chambre Notre (Departure)

Added: May 4th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3018
Language: english

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