- Band / Artist Fragarak
- Genre Death Metal
- Label Unsigned
- Year 2013
- Format Album
Delhi, the hub for stellar acts such as Undying Inc and Joint Family never runs short of surprises. Just when you think you have heard it all, there comes a band which redefines one’s perspective, in a good way. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when Fragarak, barely in its 2nd year, emerges with a stellar debut. Fragarak, is a 5-piece Progressive Death Metal outfit, comprising of vocalist Supratim Sen, Arpit Pradhan and Ruben Franklin on guitars, Kartikeya Sinha handling bass duties, and Sagar Sidhanti behind the kit.
Kicking off “Crypts of Dissimulation”, first track “Savor the Defiance” boasts of doom-laden atmospherics and acoustic work before nose-diving into the ominously darker part of the composition. “Savor the Defiance” is a gist of things to expect from the band, further into the album. Audible bass notes, carefully crafted drum-fills and heavy progressions which showcase where the band’s influences are firmly rooted in. The track has its tender moments too, incorporating acoustical melodies into the bridge segment where Supratim’s hoarse whisper guides us. The Opeth influence is obvious and a brownie point of course. 2nd track, “Insurgence” begins on a heavier note. With the vocals alternating between high pitch screeches and enviably low gutturals, while the duo of Arpit and Ruben carve riff after riff, “Insurgence” is a brilliant composition that validates the band’s heavier side and how: The outro solo is something that one might not have expected on “Insurgence” given the ho-hum, sombre mood, but then again the band brilliantly finds a place for this last jigsaw, as well. Fast shifting dynamics and intricately crafted drum patterns are the nuances to look out for. “Effacing the Esotery” boasts of all the attributes that Fragarak has established by now, add to that a particularly interesting bridge-section. A bit too frenzied, with a lot being cramped together towards the end, “Effacing the Esotery” takes more than a few spins to register the vast array of complex guitar work the band incorporates, punctuated by screeches here and there.
Granted how seriously Old School Heavy Metal musicians take their music, it is safe to expect a no-nonsense approach from them. However, Fragarak go beyond that to establish the maturity of their compositions. “Dissimulation, An Overture”, I believe, bears testimony to this. Not just because they have tried breaking the mould by treading into uncharted territory with an acoustic number in a Death Metal album, neither is it owing to the brilliance of composition (which is incidentally brilliant in its own way), but simply because of the several degrees of melancholy they have captured, unplugged.
“Cryptic Convulsion” would be one of the stand out tracks from the album. Commandeering a dark, blackened feel throughout, the track boasts of some noteworthy moments. Kartikeya Sinha shines the most on this track for his consistent bass lines. The clean backing vocals complementing the screeches are a nice touch. “Psalm of Deliverance” concludes the album on an acoustic note.
It’s not every day that a nascent band pulls off a debut, with such dexterity and intuitive musicianship. I for one definitely look forward to the time when Fragarak embark on gigs across the sub-continent. Not to place the band under unreasonable scrutiny and expectations but their 2nd full length will be definitely something worth watching out for.
Pros: Well-crafted compositions, Melodic intricacy.
Cons: Too long winded at times.
Stellar debut effort. Definitely worth a dekko or ten.
Arkadeep Deb, as of now is a 20 year old engineering student from Kolkata. When he’s not harmlessly trolling around or watching Two and a Half Men re-runs, he dabbles in all-things-Metal, Photography, Songwriting, Reviews, you name it. While building up his chops in guitar/ vocals as we speak, he’s doing his utmost to represent the genre he loves, protesting social-stereotyping and pigeon-holing of its followers and lending a patient ear to the beloved underground. His first tryst with Metal was 5 years ago, when one fateful day he popped a bootleg SLIPKNOT: SUBLIMINAL VERSES and LAMB OF GOD: ASHES OF THE WAKE split-record in the cd-tray. There has been no looking back ever-since.
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