Fragment King - Angel Position Review [06/2014]
It's the first time I personally listened to a full-length by Fragment King, the harsh brainchild by Mark Kammerbauer, out of his personal imprint Nexialist, and even if some features of his style, which combines ferociously hammered breakcore patterns with armour-piercing dark-industrial sonorities and some listenable sludge-metal and power electronics marks as well as sensibly vitriolic lyrics, is somehow recognasible, the sonic architecture sounds less naff than some past releases. Both its musical language and lyrics are definitively more focused on a precise target, which could be indolence, lassitude and defective human nature: you could almost imagine that an unsually bloody furious Metatron and some other cherubic mouthpiece, as this well-done release has been titled "Angel Position" I cannot but take an angel to discuss about it, came into possession of some electrically overcharged engine in order to remostrate against its half-assed user and enduring human pusillanimity, where roaring clanks and sometimes martial drumming seem to channel such a biomechanical clear-cut fury. Some songs ("Constellations", "Nullifier" or "Greater Than Man") sounds like absorbed by the same coruscating bruised frequency, while other ones ("Nullifier", "Statute" or "The squealing of the pigs") shows terser sonorities before Fragment King (or the above-mentioned Metatron) begins to kindle and melt the sonic blocks by meaningful lyrics and while the temperature inside FK's combustion chambers reaches its bursting point, the record sounds like blossoming on the final tracks ("Angel Position" and the entrancing "Kingdom") as if the seemingly exterminating angel wants to foster, all things considered, benevolent purposes. The cherry on top is the final "warhead Remix" of "Nullifier" by headbanging hardcore and d'n'b German producer Ralf "Bazooka" Ferley, who hijacked the original track towards contaminated neurotek and dubstep territories. Rated: 4,5 from 5. [06/2014]
Approaching the FRAGMENT KING's newest album 'Angel Position' with your usual set of expectations will lead you exactly nowhere. Why? Because it defies the conventional template of how emotions are being cast into music. We expect those things to be easily digestible sound bites and usually they are. But what happens if someone decides to put their music out of this context? To bring to the listener raw and unfiltered? Then you might get something like 'Angel Position'. It is its biggest advantage and at the same time its biggest problem. Because it is forcing you to change your perception of music, should you decide to open your mind for it and that's why it will be largely overseen, because people tend to not want to change things that have worked out for them so well so far. Those who are will have to delve right into the deep  with 'Mobilize'. There's actually no warm-up time. Things get thrown at you rapidly. The darkness is omnipresent, filtered through walls of harsh static and screams. Yet the battle has just begun my friends, for the 'Nullifier' is taking the term auditory violence to new heights, as far as it concerns me, that is. Melodic splinters are scattered across the place, though you need a magnifying glass to find them, really. It is rather a mood transformed into sound on here. 'Greater Than Man' is a rather terrifying example of how a few sustained notes, static and a creeping industrial rhythm can generate real feelings of terror. Don't take this lightly, and don't look for light in there, there's none. The last track on the album 'Kingdom' is a twisted, shredded vision of what ambient music usually comes up with. It builds and builds, you can feel it brooding under its surface and then it just subsides and leaves you thinking.... Rating: 8/10 [06/2014]
Fragment King is a band I had little to no familiarity with going into this, and I honestly think that was a boon to my overall listening experience. With no preconceived notions of the band, it was much easier to confront the subtle brand of chaos that Fragment King offers. Angel Position is really a great example of why you should never form an opinion of a release until after multiple listens; I’ve listened to this album all the way through about three times now and have found some new nuance to marvel over each time. Upon first attempting to learn more about the band behind this release, I was both impressed yet unsurprised to learn that it was a one-man project. The nasty noises you hear are courtesy of Mark Kammerbauer, and the band has a been around a suprisingly long amount of time, considering this is the first time I am listening to them (I will definitely be checking out their back catalouge after this experience). Fragment King’s (or fk as they are also known) sound is best described as dark avant-industrial. Godflesh and Navicon Torture Technologies are listed as influences, and their marks are apparent. If you are looking for a more recent comparison, think of a more freeform/minimalist version of Mike IX’s Corrections House. Similar to all of the aforementioned bands, they create a smothering atmosphere of discontent and agitation. This album will either piss you off or disturb you, depending on whether you agree with what Mark is shouting at you or not. Either way you feel after listening, you’ll be enriched for it. This is a damn good album. The perfect word to describe this album is simmering. Fragment King is angry and discontent; disgusted. However, not so angry as to shout it directly at you. His hatred and disgust summer just below the surface, barely controlled. The blackened, noisy guitars and synth textures are buzzing and humming, threatening to erupt at any moment into full blown chaos. But it never does, which is a very good thing for this album. It immerses you in the humming feedback of his malcontent, forcing you to feel what he does without pushing you over the edge. It incites rather than excites, pushing the aggression onto you and forcing you to rage on your own, rather than doing it for you. The aforementioned buzzing, almost-too-distorted-to-be-discernible guitar is a big part of creating this mood. In combination with the nasty synth textures and noisy soundscapes, it absolutely smothers you. The vocals also add to this feeling, barely cutting through the haze, and heavily distorted themselves. Every grungy, affected shout of ‘You… Mean nothing… To me!’ only serves to further accentuate how displeased this guy is. If the vocals were more varied or frequent, they might serve to distract from the overlying feeling of the album. But they are kept sparse and simple, and serve their purpose perfectly. Cutting through the hissing, popping and rumbling noise that comprises the meat of this album is the machine-based, synthy percussion. The percussion provides a bit of direction and structure in the dark haze, giving the listener a current to swim frantically along with so that they don’t get lost in the black sea of misanthropy. The percussion might be the deal breaker for a few would-be fans. At times, the industrial, house-like synth beats seem almost out of place amidst the humming darkness. The insistent, synthy beats can also get a bit repetitive, as in the latter half of the longest song on the album, ‘Constellations’. On the reverse side of that coin, the repetitive nature of the percussive force and can also serve to drive the point home, as in the short, staticy bursts present through out the title track. The album is also masterfully paced and ordered. I really feel as though albums such as these should be taken as a whole, as the feeling crafted by one track builds as the album progresses. It is a journey. You don’t just look at one corner of a painting when appreciating art, and I feel the same way about music such as this. It is an experience, a package deal. The album opens with a slightly calmer (but by no means calm) track in ‘Mobilize,’ and then the visceral, biomechanical discontent continues to flow and pulse throughout the rest of the album, until finally reaching a crescendo and then dripping and oozing away in the much more subdued, but no less disturbing and noisey, ‘Kingdom’. You also get the bonus of a remix of one of the best tracks on the album, ‘Nullifier’. The remix is predictably much more industrial than any other song on the album. It doesn’t really fit the sound profile of the rest of the album as well as the original, but it is a remix, so I don’t really count that against it. Taken by itself it is a fine song, but definitely remove yourself from the dissatisfied anger of the rest of the album before you listen to it. If I were forced to single out a track, I would say that my favorite one is ‘The Squealing of the Pigs’. This track perfectly encapsulates all of the best things about this album and delivers in every way you expect it to, and in a few that you do not. But that seems to be the story of this album. Put on a pair of headphones and listen to the whole album in one go. Then do it again. Then fight the urge to go throw a brick through the establishment’s window. [07/2014]
Traditionalisten werden bei diesen Album einen fonetischen Backflash ins Industrial-Noise-Zeitalter der Achtziger Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts erleben. WHITEHOUSE ist sicher einer der herberen Vertreter, da kommt FRAGMENT KING nicht ganz mit, tendiert aber in die richtige Richtung. Rating: 7/10