Dreams in Fragments – Reflections of a Nightmare (Rockshots Records)

Monday, 24th June 2019
Rating: 8/10

What’s most intriguing regarding the symphonic metal scene are the varied directional shift bands can achieve depending on their influences and output. For every Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Delain, there are scores of artists combining extreme and alternate nuances to the platform to make the genre refreshing and exciting. Swiss quartet Dreams of Fragments are a newer band that combine gothic and extreme elements to their mostly straight-ahead symphonic metal style on their debut album Reflections of a Nightmare – as a result probably grabbing a diverse audience that may be into some darker atmosphere against the lush keyboard orchestration and semi-operatic melodies.

The vicious guitar tone of Chris Geissmann along with his supplementary growls when called for during “Everytime” and “Incomplete” delves deeper into their penchant for extreme metal – giving off some Scanadinavian-ish textures even as the early Paradise Lost-like riffs and subsequent harmony aspects weave in and out of the latter arrangement. The folk/fairytale instrumental maneuvers turned electric allow Seraina Schoepfer to glide up and down her operatic register easily on “Defy Every Storm”, the double kick and keyboard work heightening the moodiness on both angles of serenity and intensity when necessary. When Chris and Seraina chooses to go full-tilt in their beauty and the beast vocals, the results can be captivating – check out “Falling with a Crown”, the instrumental section providing gothic bliss as the clean and roaring voices send chills in the airspace. Often Dreams in Fragments gets a galvanizing musical hook out of the gate and then just expands on that cultural hypnotic swing as the arrangement unfurls – it’s hard not to be drawn into “In Flames” as a result.

Preferring to keep the songs focused and not on the epic side (only the closer “Unireverse” comes close to six minutes), Reflections of a Nightmare can grab most darker/gothic metal followers who prefer strong guitar riffs and a heavier atmosphere against the symphonic strains. Anyone into the Black Vanity/ Sundown period of Cemetary with the added keyboard/orchestral and operatic elements may be delighted by this record.

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