Graveworm is a band that is widely known to many black and gothic metal fans. In the past, the Italians have released very good melodic black metal albums, but also, some of their albums hardly escape mediocrity. Every two years the band releases a new album, so in 2011 the Italian black metallers were loyal to their appointment. After two bad albums for me (”Collateral Defect” and ”Diabolical Figures”) it was natural as a fan to expect a better album. Well, “Fragments Of Death” is at least, a very different album for sure.

“Fragments Of Death” seems to have a more death metal direction and this is its difference. With the first two tracks, “Insomnia” and “Only Dead In Your Wake” the listener catches immediately, this death metal attitude. The vocals and the blastbeats on “Insomnia” are not like the melodic black metal music from the past. But in “Only Dead In Your Wake” some growls and the keyboards reminds in low scale something of the previous albums. After these two quite uninterested tracks, finally the album has a song that is close to their usual music and this song is “Absence Of Faith” . Even the vocals give the illusion that you hear a band from Gothenburg, Stefan Fiori does also blackish growls and the keyboards boost the usual great atmosphere from the early albums. Generally it is by far one of the best tracks in “Fragments Of Death”, where the drums have great complexity and mass. Next track is “Living Nightmare” and luckily the known Graveworm music doesn’t change a lot like the first two songs, though the song doesn’t keep me interested. The only highlights of “Living Nightmare” are of course the melancholic keyboards and the great rhythmic and smashing drumming.

I think that “Fragments Of Death” is closer to the early stuff, it’s way better than the two previous albums for sure. “The World Will Die In Flames” is another song that makes this album a little blacker. It has great symphonic background music and the keyboards so well composed as they should be. Another fact that makes this track a real melodic black metal song is the growls and this death metal direction has disappeared here. Around the middle of the song, the tempo’s speed is growing faster and the great drum blastbeats sound like a machine gun. If the most of the album’s songs were like “The World Will Die In Flames”, we would probably discuss for a killer album.

Well, at least the most uninterested songs were at the beginning, because “Anxiety” is following. As a black metal album, it should have black metal growls, which exist here, in a high rate though. Remarkable as well are the female vocals and it’s the first song on the album that I can distinguish a very good guitar composition. At the end, the keyboards and the background music add a gothic metal atmosphere. To my great surprise, the trip to their first albums continues with “See No Future”. It’s a really good song and generally follows the same ways as “Anxiety”, with the atmosphere less punctuated. After an atmospheric instrumental the death metal attitude returns with “Remembrance”. As a death metal song, it’s very well composed but there is a wavering at this point, because another blacker track “Old Forgotten Song” follows. The melodies here are based on the guitar and it is less atmospheric. Once again we have perfect drumming on this one. The regular ending of “Fragments Of Death” is with “Where Angels Does Not Fly” and the wavering between black and death Metal doesn’t stop. The guitar is perfectly melodic even it reminds the Gothenburg sound of the Swedish melodic death metal. The keyboards in some points add a chaotic atmosphere and the only one who seems to distinguish in this album is the drummer.

Strangely enough, the only song that is in higher lever from any other in “Fragments Of Death” is the bonus track, “Awake”. A mystic atmosphere from the Victorian age emerges from the keyboards and the growls, with the riffs as well revealing a freezing black metal song. The drummer outreaches himself in technique and I beg the band for writing in the future a whole album based in this form of music. In conclusion, “Fragments Of Death” is something that I didn’t expected. The only sure thing is that it left me speechless, because I really can’t say anything. It is an honest attempt for the band to reach the epicness of the early albums, but on the other hand, in some tracks is like I’m listening a melodic death metal band.

Track List Line Up
01. Insomnia
02. Only Dead In Your Wake
03. Absence Of Faith
04. Living Nightmare
05. The World Will Die In Flames
06. Anxiety
07. See No Future
08. The Prophecy
09. Remabrance
10. Old Forgotten Song
11. Where Angels Does Not Fly
12. Awake (bonus track)
Stefan Fiori – Vocals
Eric Righi – Guitar
Orgler “Stirz” Thomas – Guitar
Harry Klenk – Bass
Sabine Mair – Keyboards
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