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Good, but could be better. - 70%

Opeth232, July 8th, 2011

The Everhaunting Past: Chapter IV a Splendid Retrospection is Fragments of Unbecoming's fourth album featuring a new bass player Christopher Körtgen . Once again the band switched record labes for the recording of this album. That label is Cyclone Empire.

The music is melodic as ever, and the vocals are deep gutteral grows. While the music is good, it feels rushed to me. Compared to their previous album Sterling Black Icon which was a supurb album, it can't seem to follow. Songs sound simular to one another, and could have been developed better. WIth that said, this is still a good melodic death metal record. The drums are fast as ever, the vocals are good and understandable if you listen, and the guitars harmonize beautifully and sing to you with the melodic riffs.. You really can't hear the bass due to being drowned out by the other insterments.

If you are a Fragments of Unbecoming fan, you will still appreciate this album even with the shortcomings, and will want to explore what record has in store for the listener.

A continuation of their first Chapter and onward - 60%

twan666, April 8th, 2010

Fragments Of Unbecoming are a melodic death metal band from Germany that seem set on telling a grand story. They've already got three chapters under their belt and now they deliver "Chapter IV". Spread throughout the album are a multitude of songs where a lot of the music is brutal, extreme, at times harmonious, and for some strange reason, fading in and out. Listen to "Deadlight" and fans may notice the the guitars seem to make the tone of the music cut in and out like a poorly tuned radio station. Apparently the music is so demonic it has the ability to warp the sound spectrum itself! Good for the band, but not the listeners.

Despite this hiccup, Fragments Of Unbecoming are no less talented on their fourth album than the earlier three. The guitars actually change chords every once in a while instead of just hammering the same notes over and over, but sometimes they can be a little loud and outmaneuver the drums. However, when the drums can be heard, there's plenty of cymbal use and not just mindless beating. The vocals are a clear, mid paced growl that don't annoy or sound like the vocalist is choking. It isn't original or as magnificent as some of the other things that other melodic death metal bands have done, like Dark Tranquility, but it holds its own.

While Fragments Of Unbecoming has no keyboards or extremely wild solos like so many other melodic death metal bands do, "Chapter IV" has its moments. While a lot of the music is a cacophony of sound trying to be as extreme as possible and sometimes accidentally outdoing itself, such as on tracks like "Diabolical Monologue," other tracks have much more structure and melody. "Below All That Is Mortal" has some really great riffs that are catchy and can actually be enjoyed versus many of the other blistering songs and "A Raintime Illustration," being as brief of an instrumental as it is, is much quieter than its counterparts, but still sounds wonderfully evil. This proves that not everything is about speed and exhilaration to make death metal sound good. It is unfortunate that the band did not have more songs like this mixed around in the album to make them even more melodic than they already are.

"Chapter IV" is not a letdown, but a continuation of what Fragments Of Unbecoming started from their first Chapter and onward. Unfortunately, the band may soon fragment in fan's eyes unless they come up with some more memorable structures to their work. No one likes the same sound being put out over and over again after three albums. Fans of Melencolia Estatica, Naglfar, God Dethroned, and A Ghost Inside will probably enjoy this.

Written for www.brutalism.com

A Voice Says "Ignore"! - 50%

autothrall, November 27th, 2009

The Everhaunting Past Chapter IV: A Splendid Retrospection is quite the redundant mouthful of an album title, and perhaps the band should have sunk more time into the music. This is the 3rd album from the Germans, a dense offering of the very typical Swedish melodic deathstyle, with the usual influences in Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates. The band's previous album Sterling Black Icon was quite weak, and though small steps have been made, with a darker tone, I can't say I like this much more.

Though many of the band's breakdowns are the typical type you expect from any derivative metalcore/melodeath crossover band, and the vocals are mediocre and sound like countless other impostors of the genre's forefathers, Fragments of Unbecoming do shine in a few places, when the drums and rhythm guitars are conjoined and the leads and melodies scream over them. This is usually during solos like in "Run Ashored in the Yesteryears" or the bridge during "A Voice Says Destroy!".

These guys have enough tense energy to create mosh paradise, and often they evoke fond nostalgia for Soilwork's better days, or Dark Tranquillity. Some of their titles seem pretty thoughtful and inspiration, but the music is mostly contained within the safety of a genre that has already been trampled to death by countless awful bands like The Black Dahlia Murder. And unless you favor such bands, I cannot offer any recommendation for this.

Highlights: A Voice Says "Destroy"!, and a few of the other guitar solos and melodies

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com