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Augury - Fragmentary Evidence CD (album) cover

FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE

Augury

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 19 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars As with many perfectionist technically oriented bands, many years can pass between albums and such is the case with Montreal, Quebec based AUGURY that took five trips around the sun before releasing their much anticipated sophomore FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE after taking the tech death metal by storm in 2004 with their lauded debut "Concealed." In that five year period, amazingly the lineup of musicians remained the same however the band lost one of their most defining features with that being the additional operatic diva charm of Arianne Fleury who graced "Concealed" with a stabilizing contrast to the unbridled aggression of the technical death metal assaults that constituted the majority of the album's near one hour length.

Despite the loss of Fleury, there are many guest vocalists on FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE that attempt to fill the void although not quite as successfully i may add. As a matter of fact five out of the nine tracks have guest vocalists which include Sven de Caluwé (Aborted, System Divide), Youri Raymond (Cryptosy, Unhuman), Sébastien Croteau (Necrotic Mutation), Filip Ivanovic (Agony), Eric Fiset (Obscene Crisis, Nervous Impulse) and fellow Montreal residents SyriaK and Leilindel from Unexpect. Since the feminine charm of Leilindel is limited to a mere pair of tracks, FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a much more testosterone driven maelstrom of frenetic energy without the many pacifying moments that allowed some cooling down periods.

Overall album #2 is a lot more technical in nature with the progressive wankery turned up several notches with lots of jazz-fusion in the works. Many of the opening intros and sudden clean guitar passages display a very fusionistic approach in chord progressions, time signature chops and advanced atonal harmonics. The closing and longest track on the album "Oversee The Rebirth" is perhaps one of the finest moments in technical death metal-jazz fusion i've ever heard with some of the swankiest jazzified guitar techniques recorded which extends the variations on the theme for a full satisfying eleven minute stretch. The track also exhibits the cleaner almost James Hatfield type of vocals set in folk metal style that appeared abundantly on "Concealed" but utilized sparingly on FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE.

While more adventurous in tech death metal assaults that pummel and bombast the senses with less downtime for deep breaths, FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a tech death metal beast finding the musicians in fine form and more technically developed in the five year period since "Concealed." The guitar chops remind me a lot of Necrophagist with brutal punishing riffs that implement the occasional neoclassical virtuosic sweep. Also mentionable is the extraordinary bass work of Dominic Lapointe whose finger dancing skills display uncanny mastery of one of the most physically demanding instruments in a metal band, the bass guitar. Likewise for Étienne Gallo's inhumanly percussive juggling drum abuse. Damn, how many stick were sacrificed to record this?

FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a superb followup to "Concealed" in every way but one. Without Fleury's feminine spell casting charm, the pacifying folk inspired acoustic elements present on "Concealed" are sadly missed on this one and in the process has lost the atmospheric robustness. This album is just simply a much more aggressive beast and while i do not dislike that for a second, it seems that while the debut was perfectly balanced, this one seems like a slightly lower calibre in its wake. However, in its stead there are plenty of technical death metal chops to salivate over with the superb production and mixing allowing for a near perfect modern tech death listening experience. It also seems the more diverse tracks are tacked onto the end and they could've been redistributed in a better way but make no doubts about it. FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE displays exactly what a modern 21st century extreme metal album should sound like and while not perfect delivers many of the goods.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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