Diversity bodes well for a band that can sew multiple genres-including folk elements-together and create something that is interesting and creates soundscapes that are captivating. Portuguese based band Destroyers of All combine death metal, thrash, progressive metal and as mentioned some native folk music. Bleak Fragments is a collection of music that transitions from one genre to the next with ease. There are parts where genres shift abruptly and the sudden shift of sound is a little jarring, but for the most part the ride is smooth.
More than a single listen is need to have all of what Bleak Fragments has to offer to sink in. There is quite a bit going on all at once within this debut album and at times it can seem a little dizzying. The first time around may provide you with enough music and metal to make your head spin as though it were on a swivel, but after several spins things start to mellow out and take shape.
Once the album begins soaking in and all of the initial frenetic and chaotic energy subsides, you can appreciate the technicality and all of the elements that were put into this release to make it as unique as possible. The shock of a frantic pace and more than a few technical musical elements wears off after a listen or two, and once that happens all of the pieces to the progressive death metal puzzle fall into place.
Sure, Destroyers of All plays at a mind bending pace, but that is generally accompanied by more melodic moments where interesting almost chanting vocals take place and where acoustic elements as well as other odd sounds and orchestral pieces come together to create an interesting atmosphere.
More often than not, behind Destroyers of All are wonderful orchestral arrangements that provide you with a certain amount of atmosphere as well as a certain melancholy feeling. There are a few different feelings that you muster through the listen of Bleak Fragments. You get anger, melancholy and at times you get joy. Not only is this release a roller coaster in the technical department but it is also one in the emotional department.
Through Bleak Fragments you get swift riffs with hand crippling guitar solos peppered all throughout, drumming that is out of this world, a bass that is a borderline lunatic and vocals that are screamed at you from every angle. Along with the heavy romping of the metal elements, there are non traditional metal elements that make appearances as well that further the album along.
With the heavy metal wizardry that Destroyers of All lays down, you also get sounds that aren’t foreign to metal but aren’t exactly traditional. With the heavy riffs and the romping drum rhythms, you get the aforementioned folk music and orchestral bits that are sewn well into the music giving the listener more to soak in.
As debut full lengths go, this is a very solid effort. There is a lot to soak in with this album, but with a few listens you won’t be biting off more than you can chew. Bleak Fragments is a heavy and a very entertaining listen and gives you more than enough metal to headbang to.
Bleak Fragments will be out on March 18, 2016 through Mosher Records!