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And now for something, at least a tad, different... Shattered Destiny is an US progressive metal band with three Russian members in their line-up, with a chick as a bass player. Anyways, the band is fronted by vocalist/keyboard player Jim Johnson, who also wrote all the music and lyrics here.
If the line-up is somewhat out of ordinary, so is Shattered Destiny's musical output. When I spun the EP for the first time, I immediately got this idea how the band's music sounds like: Dark progressive metal mixed with the horror and madness of Alice Cooper. Now, I am not talking about Mr. Cooper's heavier, more metal-sounding (in a way) releases, but his pre-90s material. The lyrical content is gloomy and morbid, and the music follows it hand in hand.
While being dark and twisting, 'Welcome' also is quite a thrashing song. Jim Johnson's vocals aren't wide in range, but in mid-register and pretty rough and raspy too. Yeah, Alice Cooper style brought to metal music is how I hear it. Also, his vocal lines are more in vein of the master of horror music, not in typical metal music mold. Sadly there are quite some monotonous stuff from him. 'Deceitful Heart' begins with Alex Skolnick-esque lead guitar work, soon entering to a dreamy nightmare theme that highly reminds me of Alice Cooper's 'Gail'. Melancholic and epic metal piece is what the song grows into. Then, 'Oblivion' turns out to be a anthemic rocker, in vein of guess who?! It's in same time annoying and catchy weird prog / nursery rhyme melodies are a double sided sword, but after some listens, the song won me over, as there's some speedy symphonic metal guitar playing towards the end, and none of the style feel detached. 'Epilogue' sound very close to Finnish peculiar thrashers Stam1na. Instrumental porn with catchiness!
While every instrumentalist seem to handle their tool well, powerful drumming provided by ex-Fates Warning skinsman Mark Zonder still gets needs an extra mention. Believe me, there's a loads of interesting drumming to be heard here! Many well-known Swedish artist/studio personnel has been creating this EP, and it can be heard: The sound is heavy, filled with nuances, and still is crystal clear.
Shattered Destiny's debut release 'Fragments' EP surely isn't a typical in prog metal genres, nor is it an easy one to digest. But it dis what is needed to do: It grew on me, and still continues to grow. If you want heavier, quirkier progressive thrash metal, then 'Fragments' is a very interesting piece of music for you to check out. With a new line-up, there's more in the making.
(originally writen for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)