Live Report : First Fragment @ Aarau, Switzerland by artnoir
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Via Artnoir (translated) : "Cuckoo, I'm back. The gates to hell? Or the entrance to my home? Somehow both that evening. The line extends to the garage doors. And that on a Sunday evening. Not bad. But not surprising with the lineup. With Obscura (DE), Fallujah (USA), Allegaeon (USA) and First Fragment (CAN) will truly offer a lot. Short time for greetings and a little small talk before you start. Man, this is going to be a superlative tech death evening.
The Canadians from First Fragment can open this evening. On the one hand, it is certainly a great honor, but on the other hand it is also a difficult undertaking. The remaining representatives have already left their mark on us.
The latter does not come as a surprise for many others. The 5 gentlemen put a lot of effort into it, hold their flags up and smash a load of technical Death Metal around the ears of the audience. Drummer Nicholas Wells rotates his head with a tightness that is second to none. How does the guy do that without falling off the beat. Impressive! The band has existed since 2007, but it wasn't until 2016 that they launched their debut album “Dasein”. What takes a long time, well ... you know. What is immediately noticeable about singer David AB ... he growls in French !? Then suddenly flamenco-like parts are added. And suddenly the whole thing sounds like old school tech death from the very beginning. Huh ?! Kind of disturbing. And yet I like the mixture very much. In any case, there is great potential in the group for further conquests across Europe and the rest of the world. Applause!
Also founded in 2007 (seems to be a good vintage), the men from Allegaeon (pronounced: uh-lee-juhn) are already busy around the world.
A moment has passed since the last appearance with Ne Obliviscaris. At the time, I was not particularly impressed. Maybe because I was looking forward to the beetle (Ne Obliviscaris) like a frog. Well then, on a new her stretching.
And it is really going on. I don't remember that. Wow, it grabbed me. And right at the first song. Stylistically, Uh-lee-juhn (Höhö) move between modern melodic death and technical death metal. I really like the combination. I could hardly get anything out of modern melodic death. That seems to change with this concert, however. It has a hand and foot, planks, harmonizes, wraps around, destroys. I am tied up. And then suddenly the cursed time comes as a spoiler. What seemed like an eternity to First Fragment is to Allegaeona blink of an eye. What ?! Finished?! No?! Please do not?! Damn…! OK. I clap with the loud audience. The band is visibly «touched» and thanks them very much.
It continues with the predicate curiosity. Fallujah from San Francisco (Guess the year of foundation ... exactly ... 2007) I have known for a long time. Could already experience it live. The last album «Dreamless» is personally one of the best progressive death metal albums in recent years. The record still enchants me today. A lot has happened since then. With Antonio Palermo you have a new singer on the front who wants to prove himself. Got to? Yes. Because the criticism of the new singles for their next longplayer "Undying Light" is big. And this also affects the singer and his vocal horizon. Too monotonous, too boring. Well then, let's see how the men present themselves.
It starts with an older song from the era of "The Flesh Prevails". This is followed by brand new songs like “Ultraviolet” or hits like “Amber Gaze”. The setlist is very balanced. However ... the spark doesn't want to jump. Like last time, you see a band that is really strong technically. However, they do not manage to put the effects and samples on the floor in the right dosage. The vocals of the new singer? Oh well. They may be suitable for the new songs. The older tracks take a lot of their original energy away. Every now and then it has deeper growls with it, mostly it only wedges and screams. And that really seems a little ... bland. You can understand the criticism. Too bad that was nothing. Nothing for me anyway. I'd rather listen to the record. The audience is still there however, is becoming less and less. Thank you Sunday. One hears a similar conclusion in conversations. Let's see how the whole thing develops.
I hardly need to present the technical Death Metal Institution Obscura . The mastermind masters Steffen Kummerer have been showing their craft in Switzerland since 2002. And so far it has always been a very special experience. All the more I am happy to see the guys from Landshut in the KIFF.
With their new album «Deluvium» they left a huge fragrance last year. Today, too, we are witnessing a well-thought-out setlist, peppered with everything that Tech Death's heart desires. At the beginning mist swirls through the hall, the band starts with "Emergent Evolution" and you're caught in the swirl of the swirling guitars. Rafael Trujillo catches your eye early. What a beautiful melody. My Artnoir partner at the camera turns around and shows me her goose bumps. What a start. It continues with songs from the times of «Akroasis» and «Omnivium». Unfortunately, the hall has already emptied noticeably, but those who are still present are showing their full commitment more than ever. The band seems to be comfortable, skilfully jokes and interacts with the audience. In homage to Tryptikon, With “An epiloge to infinity”, Celtic Frost and Samael then have the most “doomed” song in their repertoire. Great. The fog shoots up every minute. The nod is a constant guest, the guitars whir and the bass whirls through the air. A pleasure from start to finish.
After an encore, it's unfortunately over. The whole team bows with thunderous applause and can be duly celebrated. Thanks Obscura, that was strong. And see you soon. No matter where, no matter when. Ps: «Françoise» could not be found even after a long search."
Text: Gianluca Teofani for artnoir.ch