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FRAIL GROUNDS

Progressive Metal • Norway


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Frail Grounds biography
Formed in 2005, Norwegian act FRAIL GROUNDS is a progressive metal act incorporating a fusion of melodic metal with occasional extreme and neoclassical metal influences. Their music is complex, and bears the capacity to shift into quiet atmospheric passages or brutal pyrotechnics. Brandishing a style ranging from WUTHERING HEIGHTS to AMORPHIS, thus far they have self-released an EP, ''Corrosion'' in 2008, and a full-length album, ''The Fields Of Trauma'' in June 2012.

After several member changes, the 2012 line-up finds them Morten SØBYSKOGEN on vocals, Erik FIDGETT and Vegard AMUNDSEN on guitars, Thomas OPPEDAL on bass, and Magnus NØDSET on drums.

Biography by Prog Sothoth

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Frail Grounds Bach Book (40th Anniversary Alb (fra) Mainstream JazzFrail Grounds Bach Book (40th Anniversary Alb (fra) Mainstream Jazz
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Fields of TraumaFields of Trauma
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4.00 | 1 ratings
The Fields Of Trauma
2012

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Corrosion
2008

FRAIL GROUNDS Reviews


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 The Fields Of Trauma by FRAIL GROUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Fields Of Trauma
Frail Grounds Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars Norwegian act FRAIL GROUNDS have been around since 2005, and have issued one EP and one full length production so far. The latter of these is "The Fields of Trauma", which was self released by the band in the fall of 2012.

Progressive metal is the name of the game for this conceptual production, albeit a variety of this style that generally shies away from the most commonly used varieties of it and that at the core has just about as many points of reference to good, old fashioned power metal as I experience this production. Hammering rhythms and a fair few sequences of energetic, uptempo riff-driven themes documents the latter part of the description quite nicely I suspect, but those with a taste for musical fare of a more sophisticated nature gets their fair share of material to enjoy as well.

Frail Grounds is a band fond of variation. Alterations in pace, intensity and tonal ranges are common features throughout. Those fond of majestic guitar and keyboard arrangements should find plenty to enjoy on this album, as should those with a taste for quirky riff constructions and material somewhat more brutal and intense. Atmospheric interludes with violin and cello present - if digital or acoustic I can't really tell - is also a feature that occasionally appears, and a few nods in the direction of grand old men Dream Theater and Symphony X is also a part of the proceedings. On a few occasions with all variations and then some assembled into a single composition. Those fond of intently listening for details should have plenty to discover on this disc, it'll take quite a few spins before each and every detail present have been suitably decoded for that subset of listeners.

The musicians are all of high quality, as one kind of expect from those who have opted for metal as their music of choice and in particular those who explore the more demanding aspect of this kind of music. The guitarists can throw in a mellow, atmospheric solo with the same ease as pace-filled neoclassical runs, the bass guitarist caters for pace and rhythm just as much as basic melodic motifs, and those fond of good quality drummers and keyboardists shouldn't find this band to be lacking in that department either. Arguably with a varied repertoire as the main assets for all instrumentalists rather than technical abilities of the kind that will earn them individual accolades in music magazines.

In the negative department my admittedly highly sensitive ears picked out a few details in the vocals department. Frail Grounds utilize the contrast between dark toned, raspy and hoarse spoken like delivery, of the kind more common in what we used to call extreme metal in the days of old, quite nicely with clean, powerful and melodic lead vocals. But the latter of these aren't quite at the topmost level. Mostly due to occasional dips that I find to be subtly out of tune or harmony, mostly when the vocalist use the upper levels of his register. It's not a highly distinct dip however, those with better knowledge than me about vocals on a technical level have described my sensitivity in that department to kick in when vocals are 1/8 of an octave away from the optimal, and I suspect the greater majority of listeners won't ever notice this detail. Still, those who know they are highly sensitive to matters of that nature might approach this disc with a slight bit of caution due to that.

All in all, "The Fields of Trauma" is a well made, performed and produced creation, an hours worth of high quality progressive metal of the conceptual kind. The compositions are varied in structures and arrangements both, and incorporates everything from gentle atmospheric themes to energetic power metal and sophisticated progressive metal on their journey, with occasional nods to the more extreme parts of the metal universe along the way. A strong debut album by a talented band.

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