Unwritten Pages - Fringe Kitchen review
|Release date:||May 2012|
02. Asylum Tragedy
03. Intoxicating Sweets
04. Perfect Incentive
05. Cloud Infinite
06. Terminal Defect
08. Wasted Land
09. Auxiliary Influx
Rating supplement: Interesting, fresh, fun; ideal for people who like their prog metal surprising.
Fact: I love reviewing. More often than not you get average stuff, but you also get to hear the good albums before everyone else. Nothing beats the pleasure of discovering a gem and telling everyone: "This is great, and you heard it from me first." And it is always a joyous occasion when you come across something worth spinning over and over again. Fringe Kitchen is one of those albums for me.
I don't need much foreplay to get into the mood of an album, and therefore I usually exclude introductory tracks from listens of albums I'm already familiar with, but the short atmospheric intro "Hejo" and the subsequent straightforward three-minute-rocker "Asylum Tragedy" are not to be skipped even when you've heard the album a number of times. They tell you exactly what to expect in just over six minutes - strong modern progressive metal with alternative and ambient leanings, interlaced with electronics. And they rock every time I hear them.
"Alternative" and "electronic" are usually two tags I tend to stay away from, but Unwritten Pages bring the goods in a convincing way. The pace rarely slows down (except for the elegiac "Wasted Land", that could have easily been a soundtrack to one of many movies documenting the wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia), the atmosphere is both ever-changing and engaging, and the musicianship is tight. As an Ark fan, I'm chuffed to hear John Macaluso rocking the drums once again. Also worth noting in the "performance"-department (well, not that the other guys aren't, but I can't just flat out tell you everything, right?) is the vocalist (and co-guitarist, co-keyboardist, co-writer… multi-talented dude) Frederic and his unique portrayal of lyrics that mostly deal with "self-imprisonment and the presence of a dreadful inner passenger". While the vocals might not be everyone's cup of tea, I quite enjoyed them.
The album is best enjoyed as a whole entity, but each song has something special to it - the evil riffs in the classical prog metal track "Perfect Incentive", the sudden introduction of a pop element in "Cloud Infinite", or the shouting vocal delivery in "Terminal Defect" come to mind - so you could say this is a "collection of great songs"-type of album with a great flow to it, which is the best of both worlds and justifies my high rating. What's even more exciting is that there is still some space for growth and improvement left. If you're intrigued by any of this, they're on bandcamp.
Plus, one of the song titles is "Intoxicating Sweets". What's not to love about it?
||Written on 05.06.2012 by A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.|
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