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REVIEW: Fragments Of Unbecoming - Sterling Black Icon Metal Blade, 2006
8/10
Fragments Of Unbecoming - Sterling Black Icon - cover art The album starts off with a quiet semi-acoustic opening track which flows directly into a melodic track that reflects the mood of the record in its entirety. Oftentimes the album is brazen or loud like most melodic death metal but it is also sullen and dark and at times sounds markedly similar to the band Insomnium, albeit somewhat louder and with an At the Gates edge. The mood is even more clearly noted due to the superior production, coincidentally making it much easier to hear and appreciate the talents of the musicians who compose this band. All of the musicians who take part in this release seem proficient in the use of their instruments. The lead singer uses a triad of vocal techniques ranging from a rarely used guttural growl to a high pitched scream (ala Corpsegrinder) but generally maintains a mid range growl for the duration of the album. The guitarists carry out their duties admirably, lending a talented performance to the album (along with backing vocals), as I previously stated much of the guitar work brings to mind At the Gates among other melodic death metal acts. This CD does not produce the technical mastery shown by such bands as Necrophagist or Spawn of Possession but they hardly purport to and as such you will find a solid death metal presentation on this album but nothing that would make you drive into a lamp post on your way to work. The bassist is woefully quiet throughout Sterling Black Icon but that which can be heard is encouraging to say the least. The drummer also gives a command performance displaying his skill and versatility as well as obvious stamina. Those who enjoy nothing but blast beats and double bass will be disappointed, I am afraid. Not that there are none to be found, but few in comparison to other more brutal bands. My one real complaint is that while this album is executed quite well and is enjoyable to listen to, it did not stand out as extraordinary compared to other releases in the scene. Do not mistake this criticism as a negative review as I rather like this album and have listened to it many times, this is precisely the reason why I am saying this. I do like Fragments of Unbecoming, I believe that they have great potential as a band and frankly I hope that in the future they fully realize that potential. This album is recommended for fans of Insomnium and those who are looking for a quality melodic death metal album.

written by John Krupp

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Tracklist
1. Carmine Preface (Entrance)
2. Sterling Black Icon
3. Weave Their Barren Path
4. Dear Floating Water
5. Breathe In The Black To See
6. Ride For A Fall
7. A Faint Illumination
8. Live For This Moment, Stay Till The End
9. Scythe Of Scarecrow
10. Onward To The Finger Of God
11. Stand The Tempest
12. Chambre Noire (Departure)

Playing time: 50:29

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