Fragments Of Unbecoming - Sterling Black Icon

12 songs
50:32 minutes
***** **
Metal Blade


It was a wise decision taken by Fragments Of Unbecoming to change the band logo. Even if the new one doesn't look too spectacular, it is at least readable. The former one looked like the first drawing trials by a toddler, making you presume that Fragments Of Unbecoming were a black metal band. But the German quintet continues where their last album Skywards ended and has them still playing melodic death metal with a strong Swedish touch.

What doesn't distinguish Sterling Black Icon from Skywards is the combination of tracks (eight songs, four intros resp. outros). A difference however makes their new singer. Former front man Stefan Weimar wanted to concentrate fully on the lead guitar so Sam Anetzberger has become the new vocalist. What he does is not too different from his predecessor. Expect crude and harsh death metal vocals that do a good job, but you have already heard similar stuff many times before.

After the obligatory short intro, the album starts with the title track, a typical melodic death metal song in an absolute Swedish tradition. Weave Their Barren Path underlines the importance of speed in the Fragments Of Unbecoming sound while the following Dear Floating Water surprises with melancholy. Breathe In The Black To See is the album's most complex and technical song and my personal favourite.

Variation isn't the problem on the album and I cannot complain about a lack of technical qualities concerning the musicians. The guitar lines are melodic as they should be and the drum pace is sometimes incredible. I know that it is nowadays very difficult to put originality into death metal, but some bands like Gory Blister, for instance, succeed. Sterling Black Icon is dynamic, brutal and melodic at the same time, but I couldn't tell you why Fragments Of Unbecoming were better than other similar death metal bands.

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