Fragments of Unbecoming - _Sterling Black Icon - Chapter III: Black but Shining_
(Metal Blade, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (5.5 out of 10)
I can see it now: pimply-faced teenagers clutching at their greasy long hair and shaking their fists in rage at my audacity. To give a band with the pristine production values and superlative technical skills of Germany's Fragments of Unbecoming a score that barely surpasses average -- I can only imagine the kind of abuse I'm setting myself up for once the young 'uns have managed to muster the words to put me well and truly in my place. But the truth is that Fragments of Unbecoming, while amply deserving of the accolades mentioned above, do absolutely nothing to differentiate themselves from the thousands of bands that prescribe to a style that has become about as synonymous with Sweden as blonde girls and Abba. Where for example Callendish Circle's phenomenal _Pitch.Black.Effects_ toyed with a variety of unwont keyboard sounds and guitar lines, the third instalment in the Fragments of Unbecoming "saga" is obstinately formulaic. I'm hardly trying to denigrate the band's efforts -- certainly fans of melodic death metal will find discover a fair bit to bang their heads to on songs like "Ride for a Fall" and "Scythe of Scarecrow". In a twenty four hour day however, the case that this record makes for convincing me that it's worth fifty minutes of my time, is flaky at best.


(article published 15/3/2006)

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