Phragments - _The Burning World_
(The Eastern Front, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Despite a name that suggests allegiance with the dyslexic EBM crowd, Phragments is a monument to martial neoclassical akin to but distinct from similar acts such as The Protagonist and Sturm. Like his contemporaries, he is forced through circumstance to use synth to recreate his bellicose string symphonies, but through a combination of instruments and compositions is able to avoid the cheap sounds that plague many others, at times wandering into ethereal, hypnotic moods rather than stirring Wagnerisms with an omnipresent and ominous drone providing a substrate for his militaristic canvas. Generally speaking, this is not an album with myriad unexpected twists and turns; but the emergence of power electronics on one track caught me off-guard, yet almost paradoxically, it worked. Only two songs feature vocals, if they can be called as such -- they are so highly distorted that no human trace remains. If Wagner just doesn't do it for you any more, there are worse places to look than this disc of bombastic glory.


(article published 2/7/2008)

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