(Transcending Obscurity India, 2017)
#FOR FANS OF: Techno Death
One of the things I really like from Internet, is the chance of discovering bands from unusual metal scenes. Back in time, it was almost impossible to find them, but nowadays, it’s great to be aware about bands coming from very far countries. Something I also realized is that quality doesn’t know about political or geographic limits, which is great.
A good example of this fact is given by the Indians Fragarak. The band´s initial inception goes back to 2011, when two young musicians, called Karikeya and Ruben, co-founded Fragarak, deciding to express their musical ideas. The band didn’t become a complete entity until the arrival of Arpit and Supratim. From the very beginning, the aim was to create a very intense sound, technically and melodically complex. Ideas were flowing constantly so in less than one year, the act was capable of releasing a very solid debut entitled 'Crypts of Dissimulation'; it was 2013. Their first effort received very good reviews which strenghtened their ambition to push the sound forward.
Two thousand and seventeen was the year of Fragarak comeback, with the release of their sophomore album called 'A Spectral Oblivion'. The improvement is clear since the very first moment, even the artwork looks more elaborated and complex. Another aspect which is clear as soon as you listen to the album, is that the guys had tons of ideas to propose, considering that the new Lp contains eleven long songs, lasting more than 80 minutes. I am not a huge fan of such a long albums, but I must admit that Fragarak is capable of maintaining a good level through the whole work, which is something very respectable. Musically speaking, the release is a more refined work, although their early ideas haven´t changed. Their offering is a technical death metal with progressive metal influences, very rich details and with a gloomy and an atmospheric touch. Each song has many changes of time and twists, which made this album a gem, though it requires several listens to be fully enjoyed. “This Chasing Masquerade” is a good example of what I am saying, being one of my favourite tracks: Supratim´s powerful and solid growls are accompanied by excellent and intricate riffs with great melodies. Those melodies change from time to time, from the most brutal and complex sections to the most melodic ones. Apart from that, the ensemble tries to enrich their songs with some good arrangements, like acoustic sections or some choirs with quite somber clean vocals, as in the opener, “In Rumination I-The Void”, or in the epic track “Of Ends Ethereal”, that could represent fine examples of this. I do enjoy those arrangements because they give an atmospheric touch to the album. Due to its length, I imagine as a part of the concept behind the music, the band includes some short interludes which look like moments of calm in the middle of an oceanic storm. Those tracks are mainly acoustic and sometimes include also female vocals (the closer “Ālūcinārī IV-The Fall”) with an interesting ethnic touch. It’s really nice when a band coming from a country with a very different culture tries to include in their music, a slice of their heritage.
In conclusion, Fragarak´s sophomore album is a step forward in every aspect. Both musically and composition wise, this is a very elaborated and consistent work. Furthermore, the production, which is excellent, only enhances the strongest aspects of the band´s music. My only little complain is related to the album´s length which in my opinion is a little bit excessive, but who can complain if the level is very good from the beginning to end?