- Audio CD (3 Feb. 2014)
- Limited Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Extra tracks, Limited Edition
- Label: Napalm Records
- ASIN: B00GNNF25Q
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,751 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Fragile Immortality Extra tracks, Limited Edition
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The Unguided " the new band featuring founding brothers Richard & Roger Sjunnesson and former members of Sonic Syndicate " release a highly dynamic and electrifying Melodic Death Metal album. "Fragile Immortality" features highly infectious melodies combined with metallic heaviness and turns songs like "Blodbad" or "Inception" into hymns of a new generation. The centerpiece is undoubtedly the vocal duo Roland Johansson & Richard Sjunnesson, who also branded the trademark sound of Sonic Syndicate. The new songs were mixed and mastered at the legendary "Studio Fredman" by Fredrik Nordstrm & Henric Udd (In Flames, DImmu Borgir, Opeth, At The Gates)
Top customer reviews
Fragile Immortality picks up straight were Hellfrost left of, and as such fans of the former should love the latter. It noticeably doesn't quite have the insanely catchy energy of its predecessor, but the band has made some changes and improvements in more than one area. FI doesn't change the formula, modern and accessible melodeth with trance-esque electronics, but it overall sounds a bit `crunchier' in that there is a lot more palm putting and stattacco riffs, bringing to mind a certain Killswitch Engage on more than one occasion. Also, as before, the band has pretty much nailed down the art of combining vocal styles, as the arrangements of Roland's melodies and Richards screams is sublime.
The biggest thing for me was the improvement of Roland; he really stepped his game up and has emerged as The Unguided's star player. While he was never a bad singer, he sounds like a bonafide rock deity on this, with a much increased vocal range and faster, more technical guitar solos. Good job my lad.
However, this isn't gonna set the world on fire. Like I said, it doesn't have the same punchy energy as HellFrost, and the cheesy synths are a bit more restrained. Second, one thing that I found rather baffling is that, aside from the solo's, there's hardly any lead guitar on this album, and at times the rythym guitars feel a bit too simple - they could easily be spiced up a bit. Still, The Unguided do push themselves in songwriting, with some slower and more intricate numbers like Oblivion and Deathwalker (which surprisingly sees the band mesh well with Hansi of Blind Guardian) slamming along happily with traditional Sonic Syndicate-like numbers Inception, Blodbad and Carnal Genesis.
I'm quite partial to a bit of cheese and accessibility. My friends who mainly listen to Nile and Decapitated rip into me big time for the Unguided, but I don't really care. I like metal, I like electro, I like pop and I don't mind them mixed together. It might not be to everyone's taste, and it probably isn't going to convert the critics in droves. Yet, with Fragile Immortality The Unguided are forging ahead, and their slickly polished combination of Swedish melodeth with metalcore elements with an unashamed love of pop melody and cheesy electronics is, for me, infective and highly enjoyable. When I want a break from Thyrfing or Allegaeon I'll give this a wee spin without hesitation.
p.s. If you like this I could also recommend Disarmonia Mundi, Amaranthe, Raintime, Blood Stain Child, Norther, amd more recent Soilwork.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One very small detail that could hurt this awesome band is the cover design, sorry artist man who ever you are, "quite the day job". Good thing I listen first, HA!
P.S. I still love the first one but this one I got taken on..
1. Inception- The synths start this song off with a dance kind of chime. There are some good chugging riffs underneath the synths on this song and it turns into a good listen of a song. When I first heard this single, I was kinda disappointed, but this song has more than proven to be fun, catchy, and heavy enough. It's a good opening song and sports a good solo, but for Unguided standards, the solo isn't anything to be excited about. Good song!
2. Defector DCXVI- A drum fill starts this one off and it has some chugging riffage with some very melodic synths. This song is as solid as anything from the first album. The vocals are top notch, Roland as at least two solos in this song I believe, and it lives up to the band's genre labels of Melodic Death Metal and more so Melodic Groove Metal. The drumming style on this song is amazing. I think this song would've been a better song to release before the album came out. This one is classic Unguided all the way! Greatness!
3. Granted- This is an interesting song for the band. Synths are very prominent in this song and it's a much different pace for the band. It starts off with a good guitar melody when the band comes in. Roland is the more prominent vocalist for this song, but it makes sense. It's a very laid back song and it is a necessary addition to this band's catalogue. It's not a ballad, but it is a very easy, chill song. If any of the songs that are very synth heavy work, it's this one! The synths are used very well in this song! Great song!
4. Eye of the Thylacine- This is one of the strongest tracks of the album. Ever since they released Deathwalker, they've become more comfortable with triplet feel songs and this one proves that. This song is very dramatic, and has groove, but it also follows suit from the previous song in retaining a chill atmosphere, but this one has a cold sound to me. I like it, but it's a kinda dark, cold beauty with the heavier riffs. Roland has some serious range in his vocals on this song. The guitar leads towards the end add quite a bit to the song. There is no solo here, but there really doesn't need to be. One of the strongest tracks here!
5. Unguided Entity- So with this song's title, they are referencing "Unknown Entity" from Sonic Syndicate's Only Inhuman album. I don't like this song as much. The synths seem to take up much of the space that could definitely be guitar leads or cooler sounding riffs. This song is one of the more synth driven ones. It feels like they wanted to make it heavier in a style similar to "Affliction" from Sonic Syn.'s Love... album. It didn't come out quite like that. The solo in this song is actually quite good, but it doesn't save the song from not interesting me. It's cool to hear groups experiment with different things, but I don't think this song was a successful experiment.
6. Carnal Genesis- This one is heavier and has that epic Unguided feel to it, but I just am not satisfied with this song. I think the chorus is what ruins it for me. Because when I listen to it, my head starts moving, but when the chorus rolls around, I stop. It's not a bad song per say, but I just feel the chorus is a little cheesy compared to some of their other works. The solo on this song is also extremely good too! But not enough to change my opinion of the rest of the song.
7. Enforce- This song is another one in that triplet feel, but it is softer and more atmospheric than Eye of the Thylacine. It also has more leads to compliment the riffs. At first I was disappointed because they had two songs on one album that almost sounded EXACT the same, but after listening to it more carefully, they both hold their own, but I'm beginning to like Enforce more than Eye. Roland's guitars on this one are extremely great! Another extremely strong track!
8. Blodbad- Now, looking at the title of this song, I still question what the heck it means haha. But on a more serious note, this song is tied with one other song as THE STRONGEST song on the album and those two songs are also tied with Betrayer of the Code as my favorite Unguided songs ever. This is easily the heaviest song on this album and has the fewest amount of synths in it! The guitar on this song is just plain and simple great and face melting. The drums are epic, the riffs are intense and the song actually has a soft section to compliment the raw heaviness of the majority of the song. I can't say enough good things about this song. I was waiting the whole album to hear a song that would impress me as much as Betrayer of the Code did on their first album and this one exceeds at that! GREAT GREAT song!
9. Only Human- This song basically has the same kind of deal as Unguided Entity. It's a reference to a song off of Sonic's album Only Inhuman. This song doesn't do anything for me really. It's middle of the road for me. It's fun to listen to (as are the other songs I'm not fond of here), but it doesn't grow on me with each listen either. So-so track.
10. Singularity- Ever since invaZion came out, I have been anticipating this album for this song!!! Blodbad really blew me away, but this song is just as great! This and Blodbad easily are the heaviest two songs of the album and along with Betrayer of the Code from Hell Frost, they are the strongest songs this band has in my opinion. The synth intro to this one is very mysterious and then it explodes into some very intense riffage. Yes, it's chugging, but that's still more riffing than some of the songs on this album. The drumming really adds some character to this song and Roland's vocals are definitely at their best on this song. This song would've probably been the best single (if it was picked as one) due to the fact that it's extremely catchy but it also demonstrates what the band is all about! The leads in the middle of the song are some of the catchiest of the band's career and the solo on this song is only rivaled by the dual solos of Blodbad. I just can't even say anymore about this song other than it's GREAT!!!!
11. Oblivion- This is another softer synth rocker, but as an ending track, it's pretty good. I leaves the album with some upbeat metal. The drumming on it is pretty good and the synths work on this song pretty well. The guitar leads aren't anything fancy, but they work. The chorus is one that can be sung along with. There isn't much to say about this song, but it's a good song nonetheless.
I personally don't think any of the bonus tracks are that great. I don't care about the remixes at all and I also don't like the Deathwalker with Hansi Kursh just because I thought the original was fine.
Verdict- If you liked Sonic Syndicate and you like this band, then I'd say this is a worthy album to buy. If you like bands like Trivium, Mercenary, and Amaranthe, this album is worth a look at. If you only download 3 songs though, make them Blodbad, Singularity, and Enforce. Those are by far the strongest songs on this offering. All in all, I think it's worth the money.
One more thing: Sonic Syndicate (with it's new lineup) released their new Self-Titled album this year as well so the feud is on! So far, both are surprisingly strong releases!
Given the results of the band's impressive 2011 debut, "HellFrost," and now it's follow-up, "Fragile Immortality," one can only ask: what was "Sonic Syndicate" thinking (or not) in 2010 when it chose a clearly ill-advised musical direction that cost it its three primary creative forces? Since the breakup that sent "...Syndicate" into hiatus and an uncertain future, "The Unguided" has produced two superior Metal albums that in effect should have been "Sonic Syndicate's" 4th and 5th albums.
"Fragile Immortality" is comprised of twelve (12) heavy but intricate crunchers, punctuated with clever melodies and (mercifully limited) techno influences that give it sufficient brutality that underscores without undermining the songwriting. While the album's lead-off, "Inception," seems, steady but routine, the band quickly hits its stride with the soaring "Defector DCXVI" and continues the brilliant march with "Unguided Entity," "Carnal Genesis," "Enforce," "Blodbath," "Oblivion," "Singularity," and "Deathwalker." Even lesser tracks, like the oft-plodding "Eye of the Thylacine," and the tame (if touching) "Only Human," are worth a listen or two. The album's only real downturn occurs when Venezuelan keyboardist, Federico Augusto Ágreda Álvarez (i.e., Zardonic), unnecessarily runs techno-interference on the bonus track remixes, "Unguided Entity" and "Deathwalker." These add nothing - other than uneasy listening time - to an otherwise outstanding album. Yet, there is slight redemption with the last track on the album, "When All the Seraphim Cry," mostly due to the fact that Zardonic's influence is sporadic and does not undermine "The Unguided's" otherwise dominating presence in the song.
Overall, "The Unguided" now charts a course that "Sonic Syndicate" inexplicably and unwisely abandoned. If "We Rule The Night" is any clue, Sonic Syndicate is less of a heavy metal band and more post-grunge oriented "hard rock," with occasional pop/metalcore influences. Yet, its new ill-advised path had the residual benefit of creating "The Unguided," a band quickly amassing a track record that is elevating the Melodic Death Metal genre to new heights.