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Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity

Masters of Perplexity
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 June 2021, 9:26 AM

FRAGMENTUM is a melodic death band from Belgium who formed in 2015. "Masters of Perplexity" is their second full length album; an EP was also released in 2018. The album's titled nails my thoughts on this album: I'm perplexed at how bad this album is most of the time. The production is sterile and lifeless—which matches the atmosphere of the songa.  The guitar riffs are simple and dated—I’m talking late 90s early 2000's mainstream  metal blandness. I don't doubt the guitarist are talented but they are showing that anywhere on this album. The guitar is just boring and goes no where. The bass is much the same way…nothing more than a wall of sound to fill the space.

The death growls are buried under the mix of the waaaaay too loud guitars and keys but that's actually a good thing because the growls are also completely inane. Did anyone involved in this album have fun in the studio? Or ever? Sure doesn't sound like it. There are clean vocals as well but…again, they are are just there, just existing. They sound bland and are forgettable as anything I've heard this year.

Oh I did mention keyboards somewhere earlier, right? Pretend I never brought them up. They appear in abundance but sound cheap as hell and similar to the toy one my two year old plays on. There seems to be moments of clarity here and there. The guitar during the opening seconds of "Origination Of Mankind" proves the band can write decent melodies. Unfortunately the rest of the song also proves they apparently don't like to do it a lot.

"Mountain of the Dead" actually let's the vocals shine for once. They aren't particularly great but at least I didn't have to strain to hear something this bad. Sparks of a decent riff or two poke their head around the corner but the band gives up before it could amount to anything…sort of like how I'm giving up on anything else to say about this album that isn't an insult.

And I hate being this guy.  I truly believe bands don't make albums this bad on purpose.  But sometimes things aren't executed as well as it should be so, therefor,  sometimes I have to write reviews like this. Melodic death metal continues to experience a resurgence in recent years and dozens of great albums in the style have been released. There is no reason to listen to this album with so much else to choose from.

Songwriting: 2
Musicianship: 2
Memorability: 2
Production: 2

1 Star Rating

1. Origination of Mankind
2. Prophesy of the Infinite
3. Victim of the Gods
4. Mountain of the Dead
5. Vision of the Snake
6. Clash of the Clans
7. Feast of the Flesh
8. Screechings of the Sacrifice
9. Trick of the Twins
10. Dwelling of the Ghosts
11. Welcome to the Afterlife
12. Secrets of the Stones
Jan Bruggeman – Vocals, Guitars
Gunnar Nopens – Vocals, Guitars
Paul De Smet - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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