Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fragarak - Crypts Of Dissimulation - Album Review

Year: 2013

This year, I have listened to way more records than I usually do. However, there weren’t any records that absolutely knocked me off my feet and shattered all my expectations. That is, until I heard this beauty of an album called ‘Crypts of Dissimulation’ by Fragarak. Right off the bat, I’ll declare that this album is beautiful masterpiece and nothing less than that. In fact, this is one of the best albums I’ve heard from the Indian scene for quite some time now. Go ahead and buy this. But in case you need more convincing, read on.

Prior to this year, I had never heard of a band called Fragarak. So when I came across a facebook post about their debut album being so good, I assumed that this was just another wannabe band trying to make it big. But this album proved me wrong and it ended up becoming one of my favourite releases from my country this year.

The music here is best described as Progressive Death Metal which is very melodic, while not being over the top. The guitar work by Ruben Franklin and Arpit Pradhan form the heart and soul of this record. The delicious lead parts in the songs are available in abundance and they sound absolutely beautiful, while also sounding technical. There is variation in guitar work, where they show their ability to sound melodic and soothing (‘Savor The Defiance’) and also crushingly heavy (‘Cryptic Convulsion’). The solos too, create some very memorable moments in this album.

Kartikeya Sinha’s bass work is definitely not a mere companion to the drums and the guitars. The bass work here takes on a full fledged role of accentuating the melody through licks of its own.  The bass lines can be heard very clearly and they are mesmerizing in their own right. The drumming by Sagar Siddhanti provides a stable foundation to support the various layers. The tempo changes in the drumming sound natural and smooth.

Coming to the vocal department, vocalist Supratim Sen does a flawless job with his wide vocal range. He shrieks, growls and screams his way through the record. Though he lays down some of the harshest of vocals on this record, his vocal work does not deter the melodic beauty of the songs. Instead, the vocals add the required rough edge.

The attention to detail here is very astounding, especially for a band from India. Everything, right from the packaging of the CD to the lyrics have been done with excruciating detail. The digipak design and the album art give rise to a cryptic feeling, which is exactly what the album is all about. The lyrics on the other hand, are crafted in a way that they are more than mere words, talking about social injustice and anarchy. The music accompanying the lyrics suit what the songs try to portray.

As stated in this review’s preface, this album is brilliant. It is technical, melodic, progressive and brutal, all rolled into six tracks. This is a record where even the instrumentals stand up and make the listener take notice, instead of remaining as mere fillers. To understand the shear brilliance of this record, one has to listen to it repeatedly. Buy this one. I personally cannot wait to see what these gentlemen conjure up next, now that they are signed to one of the best labels in the country, Transcending Obscurity India.

Rating: 92%

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