I would place First Fragment in the list of the new and underground sci-fi themed tech death and progressive death bands I’ve discovered over the past two years like The Contortionist, Augury, Dystrophic, Rings of Saturn, The Crinn, Element, and Insidious Decrepancy. Since I’ve been reviewing all of these bands (only three that I haven’t done so far), I figured that now was a good time to review this record known as The Afterthought Ecstasy. And so far, I’ve been quite impressed with how talented and creative the majority of these bands are, in fact, none of them have failed to impress me! But that doesn’t mean that all of these bands are AMAZING; because there are some more mediocre bands on that list that are slightly above average groups. First Fragment is one of those bands that aren’t anywhere near being amazing, but still impress me.
The hardest albums to review are the mediocre ones because that means that there aren’t very many things that are super awesome or make you wish for a papercut to the eyeball. If you’re extremely familiar with the basic general sound of technical death, you’re not very far from describing First Fragment. Their drummer is the member that impressed me the most. I’m surprised that this is still his only band because I would imagine that groups in need of a drummer would be all over him begging him to be their percussionist.
Like I always say, unfortunately, first impressions have a huge influence on your overall opinion on something. In music, it’s the intro or the beginning of the first track. Fortunately, they didn’t completely fuck up with the intro, but it seriously could have been a lot better. It’s simply three hits of the snare that explodes into a breakdown that fades into blast beat-oriented chaos. The first track isn’t anywhere near what I would consider amazing, but it does demonstrate the band’s overall sound and its many branches to prepare you for the rest of the album. The songs consist of simple rhythm guitar lines with explosive blast beat drumming and sweep-picking guitar solos that is decorated with a layer of melodic colors to show that experimentation exists within the band. That’s pretty much all their music is.
The vocalist sounds almost exactly like the vocalist for SWWAATS (Success will Write Apocalypse across the Sky). Of course I know that this isn’t the SWWAATS vocalist because the members of First Fragment are very young compared to SWWAATS (probably fresh out of high school). My favorite kinds of death metal lyrics are the science fiction themes that seem to be influenced by LSD. Of course, this band follows the huge trend of using huge (and sometimes unpronounceable) words. I have no idea why death metal bands do this, but it’s probably because most people don’t know what the words mean unless they look them up; so then they can get their CDs put on the shelves of huge stores like Target and Best Buy.
Overall, this is a pretty good album and is definitely enough to make a tech death junkie satisfied. This album is not very progressive at all; but that never means it’s no good (just like Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, etc.). First Fragment is definitely a band that holds an inconceivable amount of potential; so I’m expecting their sophomore release to blow my face to pieces (blow me away). I would give this album 14/20.