Friday, August 29, 2014

Album Review: "Fractured Frequencies" by Shards of Humanity

Fractured Frequencies
Duo groups are cool, but you know what's cooler than a duo?

A trio. The wisdom of Bender Bending Rodriguez was not lost on the subject of today's review, the full length debut album of Shards of Humanity.

Several extreme metal duos have been traipsing into my sphere, but I wonder how they would tour?

Shards of Humanity went from a duo to a trio with the addition of guitarist Larry Mercado on guitars in 2013 joining Ryan McAlister, drums and Todd Cochran, guitars/vocals.

Our new friends hail from the City of Memphis, TN which is also the home of Beale Street...a section of town that your friend and humble narrator greatly desires to visit, but that's neither here nor there. Memphis, obviously, is not well known for metal, but for another oft maligned genre, the Blues.

Shards of Humanity
This album jumps out of the box heavy and crushing. It thunderclaps like a bout of Zeus's anger.

The drums sound like they were recorded on a drum set the size of a mountain. (This is a very good thing. It makes the drums sound full and resonant.)

Instead of fleet of finger guitar solos all over the place, they are placed judiciously in the songs. Like the dynamics of heavy and soft, the less solos there are on a record, the more impact they will have, but naturally there is a law of diminishing returns if used too sparingly..which they are not here.

Instead of lighting fast solos, in parts, there are bone crunching chord progressions or riffs with nicely added touches of harmony guitars.

In terms of crafting songs, Shards of Humanity are pros. The riffs, the breakdowns, and breakups just show off their craft. They may not have the musical prowess of a Dream Theater, but they are able to build songs of preternatural power with the skills they do have.

This is not to say they lack any musicality, I should mention.

Release: 9/2/14
Genre: Metal, Death Metal
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records
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