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What's interesting about Comecon is that all three of their albums have a different lead singer. Megatrends in Brutality boasted Lars-Göran Petrov from Entombed, Converging Conspiracies is blessed with the presence of the great Martin Van Drunen of Pestilence fame, and this album, Fable Frolic, has... Marc Grewe from Morgoth. Now, in life, there are things that simply cannot be done. Marc Grewe living up to the lofty standards LG and Martin set prior to his inception is one of them. Let that statement set the tone for the remainder of my treatise.
There's no doubt that the vocals were a huge part of what made the first two albums good, but let's look at what else they had going for them. Aggression? Yes. Vicious riffs? In abundance. Production that would make Leatherface's dick hard? Of course... they're Swedish. To be perfectly frank, Fable Frolic has absolutely none of these things, except for the occasional forest clearing. The aggression is all but gone. The opener, "Soft, Creamy Lather", begins with what sounds like lambs bleating (which reminds me, the artwork sucks), then starts up promisingly with a decent riff that might as well be a chainsaw revving. Then the vocals come in. Ugh. These vocals aren't death metal, and that's all there is to it. They're shouts. Not growls, not barks, not shrieks, but straight up hardcore shouts. And that's it, there's no variation whatsoever. I mean, singing like that might have been cool for one song, kind of like how Matti Kärki shouts the chorus to "Skinfather", but using that style for the whole album is ill advised to say the least. But the troubles don't end there. That riff that I said was promising? It doesn't last very long before it turns into a lame acoustic shuffle. With Marc spewing uninteresting political nonsense over it in his oh so understandable shout, it goes from boring to unbearable.
The guitar players are clearly skilled, throwing some alright riffs around from time to time, but those acoustic sections are garbage. Comecon fooled around with acoustic parts before Fable Frolic, but the parts were always relatively brief and added to the music. Basically, it still sounded like death metal. This album, I don't know, it doesn't even remotely sound like death metal about half the time. But I have to say, when they go balls out with their riffing and aren't fucking around with infeasible songwriting anomalies, I dig it. The first two and a half minutes of "Frogs" is Godlike in its brutality. Then the inevitable acoustic section rears its ugly dickhead. Damn it, everything was going so well before they ruined the song with that. And guess what. The next song, "Ways of Wisdom (Serbes Two)", follows the same exact exact pattern of starting out awesome and unraveling itself with a detrimental acoustic part later on. And that's the album. I swear it's like they intentionally put all of their best riffs right before their worst. There is no consistency, and hence very little enjoyment to be had. And their imaginary friend on the drums, "Jonas Fredriksson", is not programmed very well. Its (I refuse to call a computer "he") drumming adds virtually nothing and is drowned out by the guitars anyway.
I did not like this album at all, but I have to give the guitarists points for some great riffs, even though just about every song did just about nothing on the whole. I also have to say that Marc Grewe isn't necessarily a terrible vocalist, as I enjoyed his work in Morgoth more than this. That being said, Fable Frolic was one small step backwards for Marc Grewe, one giant leap off of a cliff for Comecon. Bitterly disappointing in literally every aspect, I can't recommend this to anyone.