CD, The Eastern Front, 2007
Out of Slovakia comes “The Burning World,” the second full-length release from Phragments. The CD is enclosed in a glossy three-panel foldout that focuses on a distressed angel theme. Off the bat you might think that such a theme could be a forewarning of post-apocalyptic clichés, which are quite common in industrial music. Fortunately Peter Skala, the man behind the photography and artwork featured on “The Burning World,” subtly captures the clash between the elemental and the mechanical aspects of our society without succumbing to iconic stereotypes. He also manages to do so without the use of any questionable political content. This correlates with the album’s sound, which overlays neoclassical compositions with machine-driven industrial rhythms.
The album starts off slowly with “Non Serviam,” setting the tone of the release (being the aforementioned fusion between neoclassical and distorted elements). A beautiful and dramatic violin composition is the centerpiece of “Fireseed,” a treat for people who are suckers for full-string sounds. “Antichristos” clocks in at nine minutes, although six minutes would have been more optimal since the first half of the song is fairly repetitive, perhaps boring certain listeners and tempting them to skip to the next track. In doing so, they would miss out on the latter half, where a much needed shift of dynamics occurs. Nerds take notice! This would make a great soundtrack for your orc and ogre killing expeditions. What’s that you say? They don’t exist? In this case, this track will work as great background music to your MMORPG dungeon crawls. Before I even looked at the song title, “La Marche Des Machines” evoked strong images of a world overrun by evil robotic contraptions. Good job, Phragments – mission accomplished!
If you enjoy dramatic martial overtures and neoclassical post-industrial anthems, but feel alienated by the political claptrap offered by other artists in the genre, this is the release for you.
— Bea W.