"Skyward - A Sylphe's Ascension" (Metal Blade; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

While listening to Fragments Of Unbecoming's "Skyward A Sylphe's Ascension" it doesn't take long to know that you can file it under the melodic death metal category.

Musically, Fragments Of Unbecoming are pretty tight. The riffs are slightly progressive for the genre, yet the band basically sticks to the tried and true formula of melodic death metal. A band can't go too wrong too often with that philosophy; it won't push the stylistic envelope, but it will endear itself to the fans who appreciate the second phase of the Swedish death metal sound. Nearly all of the songs are played in a fairly up-tempo manner which begins to recall the death thrash stylistic extreme of the melodic death metal genre. What's interesting is that Fragments Of Unbecoming are German and evoke the kind of sound that Dark Tranquillity used to have in the mid-'90s.

"Skyward A Sylphe's Ascension" is not without its faults. Personally, I think the drums are too high in the mix with too much emphasis on blastbeats and double-bass. The songs are lacking a bit in the aspect of being memorable the listener will enjoy them while listening, but probably won't remember them after they are finished. This is just an observation, but the vocalist actually sounds more like Angela Gasgow than I ever thought any man could (check out "Scattered To The Four Winds" if you think I'm kidding).

As a whole "Skyward A Sylphe's Ascension" is an enjoyable listen hence the three chainsaw rating since I'm a whore for this particular sound. I still can't escape the fact that the disc is a little lackluster and unoriginal. However, where the disc lacks in originality it makes up for it with more than competent songs and playing skills which always gets high marks from me. For what it is worth, the best tracks are "Lour Pulse," the title track, and "Insane Chaosphere."

Die-hard fans of the melodic death metal style will appreciate Fragments Of Unbecoming's "Skyward A Sylphe's Ascension."

"Skyward A Sylphe's Ascension" was produced by Stefan Hanbuch and Fragments Of Unbecoming.

Fragments Of Unbecoming: Andy B. Franck on vocals, Cedric Cede Dupont and Markus Pohl on guitars, Dennis Wohbold on bass, and Sascha Sauer on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.