First Fragment
Dasein


5.0
classic

Review

by god I need a cold one now CONTRIBUTOR (50 Reviews)
May 20th, 2016 | 664 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once again, Canada shows the world how to play technical death metal.

Time isn’t always on a band’s side. Whenever there is an extended waiting period between releases, excitement dies down and is replaced by doubts and fears of disappointment. True, in the past, groups such as Atheist and Gorguts have made forceful returns after especially long breaks. But, as the past has also shown, the opposite can be true--consider the cases of Modest Mouse and Cynic. With a near six-year wait between albums, Canadian techdeath outfit First Fragment seemed fated to either topple expectations or crumble under them.

However, to say they completely succeeded in overcoming the obstacle of time is an understatement. With their highly-anticipated debut Dasein, First Fragment obliterate any and all negative preconceptions, showcasing some of the most inspiring instrumental performances in a technical death metal album. The band stays true to their sound established on The Afterthought Ecstasy while simultaneously improving on it and experimenting. The end result is one of the strongest albums of the decade.

The band opts for a thrash-metal style of technical death metal where each and every song is a fast-paced battering on the listener. Guitarists Philippe Tougas and Gabriel Brault-Pilon play off each other with remarkable synergy, forming amazing, melodic riffs for each and every track. The opening guitar burst for first track “Le Serment De Tsion” should be enough of an indicator for what you’re in store for--frantic, pounding drums, a very technical and greatly improved bass, and extraordinary interplay between the two guitarists. Songs such as “Gula” are perfect examples of the band’s intense, energetic playing and the great interaction between the members, featuring an engaging guitar riff with a funky, jazz-like bass playing underneath as the drums roll on at an impressive speed. Vocalist David Brault-Pilon is no slouch either, adding more power to the album by supplying his commanding mid-range screams.

Dasein has many more progressive tendencies compared to its predecessor. The song lengths have increased--the closing track, “Evhron”, is longer than 8 minutes--giving more room for instrumental breaks where the band really experiments, jumping in and out of harmonious solos and shredding away with ease. “Voracite” spends time with a haunting sample before crashing into an instrumental onslaught, launching an aggressive beating fronted by a strong rhythm section commandeered by bassist Vincent Savary and drummer Troy Fullerton. “Prelude En Sol Diese Mineur” is an entirely instrumental song with nothing but acoustic guitars and the bass playing together and harmonizing. Overall, however, the band’s strongest point remains their ability to create rapid songs with outstanding grooves and melodies, hardly ever relenting to let you catch your breath; they do this with such professionalism that it’s hard to believe this is only the second album they’ve ever created.

What’s most impressive about Dasein, all things considered, is just how fresh it sounds. Despite being mainly written prior to 2015, Dasein outclasses many modern techdeath albums with an absolutely stellar production. Each band member shines individually, displaying astonishing talent with their craft and greatly outclassing contemporaries. The very clean, polished sound emerging from the record is the icing on the cake, exposing all of the working components of the band.

It’s very difficult to make such a fast, in-your-face album and keep it consistent and intriguing per every song. This proves to be no trouble for First Fragment; Dasein absolutely earns a place amongst the best modern techdeath releases and deserves all the credit it gets. The tracks flow seamlessly with gorgeous melodies dominating the record. The band has unleashed an undeniably monstrous album that grabs you right from the start and never lets go--a true, full-on sonic assault led by some of the best musicians in the modern scene.



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user ratings (220)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I totally understand that I will most likely be in the minority here with my 5, but I can't help it. This album is an absolute monster and crushes any other metal release out this year. It hits like a damn truck and I can't stop listening to it.



Opinions will differ, but I'm staying firm behind this one.



Take a listen here on bandcamp: https://uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dasein



Some other streaming sites: http://www.metalinjection.net/av/full-album-stream/first-fragments-tech-death-opus-dasein



http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=123446



It's time to spread the word about this beast.

Ebola
May 20th 2016


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stellar review, albeit somewhat hyperbolic. Will definitely check this as soon as possible. Pos

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks!



I'm definitely aware of my position. This album's just so damn good to me it's hard to always hold back the hyperbole.

Ebola
May 20th 2016


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really dig the way the bass sounds here. It's not overproduced and has kind of a thrash-esque sound. Although wtf is with the end of the first track? Weird moment

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The bass player is ridiculous.

brainmelter
May 20th 2016


6662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ayyyyyy

Digging: Supine - deluge of data, recess of thought

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


3387 Comments


Great review. Generally hate overly wanky tech-death, but I do appreciate what these guys have done here. That gravity blast in Evhron is absolutely mental. Wouldn't agree that this is one of the best tech-death records, but these guys definitely know their stuff. I loved that vocal thing at the end of track one, made me laugh. Probably looking at a 3.5/6 from me. Keep on writing, dude

PortalofPerfection
May 20th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Whoa

Ebola
May 20th 2016


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really loved Zenith Passage, but this is better without a doubt. Some of the best and most creative bass work I've ever heard in a metal album.

These guys also sound really loose and even a bit fun; I can't remember the last time I said something like that about a tech death record.

Space Jester
May 20th 2016


7368 Comments


Good review but I didn't get anything out of this album. Don't really see anything special about it.

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2016


3581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review might be well written but I'm not sure how seriously I can take that perfect score when this has been streaming for, what.. like, a day?

Digging: Blood Incantation - Hidden History of the Human Race

Space Jester
May 20th 2016


7368 Comments


Just realized the guitarist is also in both Zealotry AND Chthe'list, gotta say I much prefer his other projects.

brainmelter
May 20th 2016


6662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the prelude track on this is so fuckin delicious

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


3387 Comments


”Just realized the guitarist is also in both Zealotry AND Chthe'list, gotta say I much prefer his other projects.”

「2」

brainmelter
May 20th 2016


6662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea

Space Jester
May 20th 2016


7368 Comments


Nah, but tbh I don't really enjoy much shred-heavy techdeath like this. There's no denying the technical skill on display here but the style and sound doesn't interest me. I like the murky, wonky stuff better.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2016


11739 Comments


Great review, will definitley jam this one

Digging: BABYMETAL - Metal Galaxy

Evreaia
May 20th 2016


5122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band is amazing

Kusangii
May 20th 2016


2417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review man, album definitely deserves it! I'm not that sold yet to give it a 5, but to say the album didn't deliver the expectations would be blasphemous. The bass work on here is some of the most goergous I've ever heard.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Jac album's actually been streaming since around Monday.



Thanks everyone for stopping by!



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