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Bone Fragments - Circus Maleficus - 75%

overkill666, January 28th, 2009


You know, I've never really associated clowns with any way. The only time I've really seen a clown associated in metal would be the album by Acid Bath. This band really enjoys the phobia that people have over clowns freaking them out. Though, is this image too overboard? Maybe not, maybe so. The music is surely interesting enough, but there's some elements holding it back from being a very solid debut.

This demo starts off very well, so well it excited me. The first track, entitled 'Clown in the Dark', reminds me of Darkthrone, 'Under a Funeral Moon' era. Bone Fragments is very dark, and this helps the music out in a big way. The guitar riffs, for the most part, are made up of deep sounding tremolo style plucking. Though, there are a lot of interesting fills, like in the song 'Carnivorous Harlequin'. These fills are usually always carnival influenced, like that old carnival theme music you always hear in the movies and such. As I said before, I hear a lot of Darkthrone influence, as I'm sure the members of this band enjoy them. There's no bass guitar, which I believe impacts this project negatively. I'm very sure they would sound even darker, and heavier with the bass added. Hell, they could even pull a carnival bass solo in there somewhere, hehe. I'm sure that would sound demented. As for the drums, they are programmed. Though, they are done very well, and they don't stand out.

The production is something that boosts this release so much. I'm very sure Bone Fragments would lose a lot of the atmosphere without the production being a bit murky. It adds a touch of heaviness, along with some old school feel to the music. Also, I believe the production impacts the guitar tone in a very positive way. I love how the guitar sounds, if it were clean, it wouldn't sound half as good as it does now. The only thing that brings this music down are the vocals. The vocals are mainly done by Tormentor, a female guitarist/screamer. Her style is a high pitched yell which sounds whiny rather than evil. The good thing about her vocals is that they fit the music very well. My problem is that I just don't like the outcome of her yells, and it is hard for me to enjoy the music because of that. I give her credit for her work though, she could probably do a better job at vocals than I could.

This debut was a rather interesting one. Carnival inspired black metal is something out of the ordinary, that's for sure. I believe with hard work and some more practice, Bone Fragments could pump out something even better. Hell, even a more creative look on song titles would be a step in the positive direction. Lastly, check this band out if you enjoy clowns.