First Fragment
Gloire Eternelle


4.1
excellent

Review

by Asleep STAFF
January 2nd, 2022 | 85 replies


Release Date: 10/29/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Playing all of the musical notes, simultaneously, forever.

Perhaps the most notably novel thing about First Fragment's second LP is, oddly, not the peculiar mix of sounds they blend into their brand of technical death metal - featuring funked-up slap-bass excursions, staccato flamenco acoustics and neoclassical lead melodies in abundance - but, rather, just how snuggly each of these disparate components slot together on Gloire Éternelle. Far from collapsing under the weight of its influences into a gimmick-laden slop, the band's sophomore effort is somehow elegant, graceful and, believe it or not, really quite brilliant.

It's all relative, of course. Gloire Éternelle is still a hulking 71-minute demonstration of just how fast one can play all of the musical notes, simultaneously, forever, as is clearly the want of the palpably mad Canadian blokes at the helm. It's dizzying and it's obtuse, to be sure, but that's half the fun. Unfortunately I'm woefully ill-equipped to pick apart and describe the various nuances on display, musical theory having never been my strong suit, nor in my own personal deck of cards to begin with. Luckily, it's not what's going on under the hood that makes Gloire Éternelle such a charming joyride but, instead, the swooping skylines and lush landscapes that the smattering of 16th, 32nd and 64th notes (idk, probs not) manage to piece together.

"De Chair et De Haine" opens with a roaring sunset, all oaken rays of acoustic guitar and warbling fretless bass, only for the sky to be blown up shortly thereafter by landmine drum fills and haywire noodling. The resultant explosion is rather tame, however, compared to the bombastic grooves adorning the disheveled "Soif Brûlante" and ungainly "La Veuve et Le Martyr", both seismic and reverberating and raucous and - erm - big. These slick cuts gush with the kind of primal aggression that is so often lacking from compositions this structured and precise, adding violent vibrancy to the record's otherwise clinical, shiny facade. A refreshingly old-school flair for drama and bombast ties it all together, the LP sporting power metal whammy bar leads and tasteful wank-free solos aplenty, making for unexpectedly close companions to the frequent flamenco freakouts and slap-bass swingdowns.

It's near impossible to pick a favourite track or moment, such is the consistency of Gloire Éternelle, but the exemplary 19-minute epic "In'El" is an easy highlight. As the band bring the record to a close they set the sky ablaze one last time, layering lavish piano keys beneath some of the most unapologetically theatrical guitar work you'll hear all year, amplified yet further by frontman David AB's gnashing, guttural vocals. The clouds are seared with the purple, scarlet smoke trails of m/ incarnate as the truth shifts sharply into focus: First Fragment deserve a place at the head of the table of extreme metal, and they're willing to take it by force. Almost peerless in ambition and execution, they're one to watch in the decade to come, eyes wide and basking in the spectacle of it all. Honestly, I can't wait to see what they do next.



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user ratings (153)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2022


7274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

My 50th review. Bit of an odd one for me, seeing as I don't usually vibe with this kind of metal, but this be that good muzak.



Deserved a review long ago, but here we go.

Piglet
January 2nd 2022


8226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

good work soldier. "oaken rays of acoustic guitar and warbling fretless bass, only for the sky to be blown up shortly thereafter by landmine drum fills and haywire noodling" is just about right lol

Dedes
January 2nd 2022


8285 Comments


Great review brother. Remember quite liking Dasein upon its release but I haven't touched the band since. I think I should remedy that.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2022


7274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Don't let your dreams be dreams. Just do it. Jam and be happy.

brainmelter
January 2nd 2022


7733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whoa damn this finally got a write up

nice concise review

Digging: Vothana - Hnh ??ng By Gi?, T??ng Lai ??m B?o / Action Now,

Ebola
January 3rd 2022


4251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

the highs are absurdly high but this needs to be half an hour shorter

trilo
January 3rd 2022


4447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

at least yeah





Digging: Aequorea - Dim

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2022


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good to see this getting some front page time.

Digging: Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion

Pon
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2022


5404 Comments


Glad someone reviewed this. Was going to but work and time required to take all of it in made things difficult.

TheMetalLifer
January 3rd 2022


53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally a review for this masterpiece.

DePlazz
January 3rd 2022


3379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Technically perfect, musically disappointing.

MikeyPalmice
January 3rd 2022


92 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Would be my biggest letdown of 2021, but RoN snatched that title.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2022


7274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

How so? I felt this built on everything their debut did and elevated it further. Avoids mindless musicianship and has actual audible compositions and motifs and movements.

Zakusz
January 3rd 2022


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice to see a review for this one. I never heard of these guys before but they hit me hard the last couple months. I spin this bad boy at least once a week

MikeyPalmice
January 3rd 2022


92 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

my faves from them are songs like Voracite, Emergence and the 2010 ep, the fast, heavy stuff.

This album has too little of that, but i do like the solos.

CaptainDooRight
January 3rd 2022


5267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is dam

Digging: Quo Vadis - Day Into Night

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2022


7274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I still need to check their EP. Will be interesting to see how they compare.

Demon of the Fall
January 3rd 2022


22647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Niiiiiice. Much need review… this album slaps and I’m not generally a big tech head

Digging: Aurora - The Gods We Can Touch

Flugmorph
January 3rd 2022


25628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album most likely stinks

Digging: Mol - Diorama

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2022


7274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

You sir/birb are incorrect



I'm the same Demon, I rarely get on with tech but this is just so good.



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